Direct selling has experienced dynamic performance in France and benefits from favourable prospects away from a supposed old-fashioned image. Indeed, personalised experience and advice and the possibility to test products before purchasing are considerable assets for this retailing channel, mainly organised in personal meetings.
The future of direct selling is to be found in digitalisation and multichannel strategies. After having introduced mobile payments, some players have launched digital meetings such as via Skype.
Some direct selling categories have fared better and recorded particular success. Amongst the fastest-growing categories in direct selling, homewares and furniture such as kitchen utensils or small domestic appliances are supported by a structural consumer trend for convenience and healthy diet.
Several new entrants were interested in this retailing format, such as Oika Oika positioned in board games, Ipheos in cosmetics or again Phildar, Little Marcel and Scottage in apparel and footwear. New players but also historical players have invested in popular segments like Tupperware, which has diversified to offer food processors for example.
One of the major challenges for direct selling players over the coming years will also be to diversify to attract new consumer segments. Currently, direct selling supply is largely orientated towards women, but manufacturers are increasingly looking to capture males.
Despite a favourable context, the leading player in direct selling, Tupperware France, sees its sales declining and has had to close its unique production plant in France based at Joué-Les-Tours. Due to dropping sales resulting from its European activities and especially in France, the company was in production surplus and is looking to restore its competitiveness over the forecast period.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.