For the last twenty years, direct selling has increased a lot in France. Since 1993, the number of companies employing at least one person has been multiplied by 2.3. Moreover, the added value increased by more than 30% between 2000 and 2009. Yet it’s hard for these companies to attract and keep sellers.
In 2010, a protocol was signed between the French Direct Selling Federation and the Ministry of Labour in order to create 100.000 jobs within 3 years and to promote this activity and its related trades. This protocol also aims to publicize the sector to the unemployed willing to find a work and to people wishing to supplement their incomes, start a new work or create their own business. The study, commissioned by the Ministry of Labour, the Agefos PME and the French Federation of Direct Selling was conducted by the CRÉDOC and GESTE. It shows that this economic activity needs to pursue its efforts to modernize, including in human resources: by helping the sellers to move up the professional ladder and become “sales consultant”, by training them throughout their careers and by consolidating their careers through certified diplomas. Direct selling should also use new technologies to become more attractive to the new generations. These are crucial challenges to confront with the hard competition of neighbourhood shops and e-commerce.