Amway’s official sales press release was issued today and confirmed what was already publicly stated by Rich DeVos last Friday – Amway’s global sales for 2008 were $8.2billion – up 15% on Amway’s 2007 sales of $7.1 billion.
In a break from previous years, data for no individual markets or regions has not been separated out other than to say there was strong growth in Russia, China, and India and that overall 2/3 of Amway’s 58 affiliates recorded sales increases. This works out to 39 affiliates with growth and 9 either flat or decreasing. In 2007 it was reported that 39 out of 55 markets increased sales. I’m a little confused by the change in the number of affiliates as the only new market to open was Amway Vietnam. It’s possible that in markets like Scandinavia, which covers 4 countries, have been considered separately.
There has of course been much interest in seeing how the rebadged Quixtar, Amway Global, has been handling the “transformation“. Last year, following the TEAM debacle, sales were down slightly in North America. Amway Global has launched a massive number of initiatives in the North American market, including the name change, accreditation, lots of new cash incentives, plus of course a mass media marketing campaign. My personal feeling is that these changes will definitely be beneficial, but it may take a few years to see the full impact. Whether there’s been a positive or negative impact in 2008, Amway has decided to withhold. I made enquires and was given this explanation –
Yes, we are moving away from reporting individual market sales figures. We are competing as hard as we can around the world, and we realized we were giving our competitors a hand up in making their strategic plans when we told them how each market was doing. So we’re going to make them do some more homework.
While disappointing from the perspective of we Amway information junkies, there is some sense in this. There’s some real competition heating up in the world of direct sales. As most folk know, Amway Global recently sponsored the San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer Team, and that was a followup to the Nutrilite sponsorship of AC Milan. What you may not know is that MLS team LA Galaxy (famed for hiring David Beckham, now on loan to AC Milan) is sponsored by Herbalife, and just this week Herbalife announced they’re sponsoring AC Milan arch-rival Inter Milan!
In other news, Amway today also launched a new Amway Media Blog. It will be interesting to see if the blog posts and comments stay a little more civil on on target than what happened with the earlier Alticor and Amway Media blogs. It’s unfortunate that Amway related sites attract a small number of people who have little interest in anything other than being disruptive. Amway’s caught between a rock and a hard place in dealing with them. Ban them and you’re accused of censorship, let them post and they take over the conversation for their own agendas.