美国指导essay Direct Cosmetics Sales Are Still Looking Good in U.S.
Mar. 13-While retail or business-to-business sales jobs might be hard to come by, job prospects are booming for sales reps in the direct cosmetics field. Tom Whatley, president of sales for Dallas-based Mary Kay Inc., said that a slow economy hasn’t affected business. "In fact, Mary Kay has experienced four consecutive years of record results – both product sales and the number of women joining our independent sales force," he said. "Mary Kay ended 2002 with a 17.5 percent increase in U.S. sales and 14.5 percent growth in its independent sales force." Mary Kay (www.marykay.com [http://www.marykay.com/]) has about 950,000 independent sales representatives worldwide, with roughly 650,000 in the United States. The outlook is equally bright at New York-based Avon Products Inc. Marla Thompson, regional spokeswoman for Avon (www.avon.com [http://www.avon.com/]), said the company added about 50,000 sales reps to its workforce in 2002, bringing its worldwide sales force to 3.5 million and its U.S. force to 600,000. She said that business stays steady even in a slow economy because Avon’s cosmetics products are affordable. "In a slumping economy, it’s been proven that we, as women, still want to go out and look good," she said. "It’s easier to go out and buy a tube of lipstick for $4 than to go to the high-end department stores and buy the same tube of lipstick for $21." Fort Worth resident and Avon executive unit leader Nikki Wynne said she got into the business 2 1/2 years ago to earn part-time money after her son was born. "It started off part time, just selling to my friends and family, and it has turned into a full-time business," she said. That’s a common path for many of the women – and men – who go into direct cosmetics sales, she said. Less than 2 percent of Avon sales reps are men. "They start off part time usually, and a lot of people will say, `I just want to make a little bit of money,’ and then once they’re into it, they decide, `Maybe I could do this full time,’" Ms. Wynne said. However, most direct sellers are content with earning cash part time, said Amy Robinson, director of communications for the Direct Selling Association (www.dsa.org [http://www.dsa.org/]) in Washington, D.C. She said that only about 10 percent of direct sellers work full time, and most earn less than $2,500 a year, putting in just a few hours per week. In 2001, the entire direct sales industry had about 12.2 million salespeople and sales of about $26.7 billion. "Granted, direct selling is a pretty small part of the gross domestic product, but when you’re looking at percentages, direct selling has outpaced retail sales," Ms. Robinson said. #p#分页标题#e#While last Christmas was rough for many retailers, direct cosmetics sales didn’t miss a beat. "We have just really had a booming business going on here recently," Ms. Wynne said. "Right after Christmas, it slowed down for a couple weeks, as people recovered after the holidays. Since then, I have been nonstop helping others get started with this." Breaking into the field requires no formal training or experience, Mr. Whatley said. 指导essay "The Mary Kay independent sales force is comprised of people from all walks of life who are attracted to a business opportunity that not only has unlimited potential for personal and financial success, it enables a person to determine when and where they work," he said. "Having the flexibility of planning their careers around their lives instead of having their careers dictate their lives is a major attraction to many members of the Mary Kay independent sales force."