MANILA, Philippines?With so many malls, town centers, groceries, supermarkets and variety (sari-sari) stores dotting the retail landscape from Luzon to Mindanao, one would think that there is no more space for direct, face-to-face selling since consumers can just go to that shop around the corner.
But this could not be farther from the truth, according to persona-care-products manufacturer Splash Corp.
This is why the manufacturing company listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange is expanding its direct-selling operations to capitalize on the ever-growing market for health and beauty products that cannot be serviced by brick-and-mortar retail establishments alone.
The 26-year-old Splash set up its direct-sales unit in November 2009 and after a little over a year, it is making just a ?small contribution? to the annual turnover of the company estimated at P6 billion for 2010, 15 percent over the previous year.
But Splash Direct Sales General Manager Glenda Pingol says the unit is gearing up to contribute more to Splash Corp.?s bottom line considering the added resources that the parent company is putting into the growing unit.
Splash had seven centers servicing direct-sales distributors at the end of last year?six in Metro Manila and one in Imus, Cavite. This will be expanded by another 11 by the end of the year, which will be complemented by 26 direct sales business centers to be run by independent business owners.
?The prospects of direct selling are great,? says Pingol, adding that the direct-selling industry in the Philippines?dominated by such multinational brands as Avon, Tupperware and Amway?is worth as much as P30 billion, and still growing.
?We are already looking at expanding our product range from just personal-care products to include intimate apparel and garments,? she adds.
Pingol, who has more than 20 years of experience in the direct-selling industry, says the direct-selling unit contributes to the company in two ways.
First, direct selling provides another venue for Splash products to reach the 90 million Filipinos and second, it gives Splash the opportunity to be able to provide livelihood to Filipinos looking to augment their income without shelling out huge capital.
According to Pingol, all the interested entrepreneur will have to do is buy a P10 product catalog and he or she can already start getting orders from the usual first suspects?friends, family, and friends of friends and family.
But to be an official part of the Splash direct-selling family, one has to qualify for a credit line worth P2,000.
Direct sellers, or Splash specialists, earn initially from the 25 percent discount on the product?among the highest commission rates in the market?and then from an overriding commission of as much as 37 percent.
To add more value to Splash direct sales, the parent company made sure that the products sold through direct sales are different from those sold through the regular retail channels, such as supermarkets, groceries and sister company, HBC Corp.
Bestsellers are the Seriously White line of whitening products, Skin MD Advanced Skincare Treatment, and CMX Cosmetics. Other lines include health supplements and hair-care products.
Pingol says these products are perfect for direct sellers because they require some explanation to be fully appreciated by the buyers.
?We will further support them by training them on how to sell these products, and by providing them credit facilities. We want more people to become entrepreneurs,? she adds.
Splash even got talk-show host Boy Abunda to be the ambassador for entrepreneurship of Splash?s direct-sales unit to help bring home the point that anybody can be successful at business, provided they have the passion and the will to meet their goals.
Pingol shares that even if Splash has only been in operation for a little over a year, it already has its share of success stories. Some of its top dealers have been able to build new houses and acquire cars from their Splash earnings alone.
She says Splash wants even more to achieve the same level of success, if not do even better.