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The Warsaw Voice » Business » July 29, 2009
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Direct Selling Sector Resistant to Crisis
July 29, 2009 By A.R.    
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The economic slowdown has not hurt Poland's direct selling sector, says the Polish Direct Selling Association (PSSB).

According to the association, the combined net sales of direct-selling businesses in this country rose by around 5 percent to zl.2.2 billion last year.

The number of direct sellers increased by almost 9 percent to over 752,000, due to factors such as deteriorating trends on the labor market, the association said. It added that most of the direct sellers are self-employed individuals, mostly women, who account for roughly 90 percent of those working for direct-selling businesses. Interestingly, people aged over 50 account for about 25 percent of all direct sellers in Poland, the association says.

Last year, cosmetics were still the best-selling type of product in the direct-selling sector. They accounted for over 70 percent of total direct sales in this country, versus 74.5 percent in 2007 and 85 percent in 2005. Household appliances accounted for 16.1 percent of total sales, up by almost 2 percentage points from 2007. Dietary supplements accounted for 8.4 percent, up by 1 point; clothes, jewelry, and other fashion accessories accounted for 3.2 percent; and telecommunications services for 0.8 percent.

"In a time of crisis, people tend to spend money with caution," says Mirosław Luboń, general director of the Polish Direct Selling Association. "An individualized approach to the customer, an opportunity to get advice and think before buying are what makes direct selling attractive to consumers."

Poland's direct-selling market has expanded steadily since the early 1990s, complementing conventional retail outlets, the association said.
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