Amway’s sales down 15% after disaster

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US-based Amway (Thailand) Co Ltd, the largest direct-selling company in the country, announced on Saturday that its sales in the six southern provinces affected by the tsunami had dropped by about 15 per cent this month as a result of short-term economic and psychological effects.

About 20,000 Amway sales representatives work in the six effected southern provinces and contribute between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of Amway’s total business in Thailand, said managing director Preecha Prakobkit.

Amway also maintains a “Pick&Pay” centre in Phuket, a distribution warehouse for the company’s products covering the region. The centre conducted sales at an average of Bt15 million a month before the disaster.

“I believe the tsunami’s effects will have negative repercussions on our business for about two months,” Preecha said, adding that Amway had lost nine of its sales representatives in the disaster and that one was still unaccounted for.

Amway (Thailand) on Saturday organised its annual “Amway Expo 2005 & National Convention” with more than 25,000 people – sales representatives and visitors – expected to participate in the event held at Impact Arena in Muang Thong Thani.

A ticket to the convention cost Bt175, and Preecha said that earnings from ticket sales would be donated through the Amway Foundation for Society as disaster relief to people in the six southern provinces.

He said that Amway registered a sales growth of about 4 per cent on average throughout the country in the first four months of this fiscal year. The company reached Bt9.28 billion in total sales in the 2004 fiscal year, which ended in August – up 20 per cent from fiscal 2003. “[Before the tsunami] we expected our total sales to reach the Bt10-billion mark this fiscal year,” Preecha said.

Jim Payne, senior vice president of Amway Corp, said the company felt positive about its future in the Kingdom. He said Thailand was one of the top 10 largest markets for Amway Corp, which include such other red-hot sales regions as China (US$2 billion, or Bt77 billion, in sales), Japan ($1 billion), the US ($1 billion) and South Korea ($550 million).

Payne said that about 70 per cent of Amway’s total direct-selling business was based in Asia, as against 10 per cent in Europe and 20 per cent in the United States and South America.

He added that Amway Corp achieved total sales of $6.2 billion in the last fiscal year and expected to reach total global sales growth of between 5 per cent and 6 per cent in fiscal 2005.

Published on January 24, 2005

Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn

The Nation

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