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Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

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A Shot of Innovation

Beyond the litigation in the United Kingdom, Amway had bigger problems: it was running out of lucrative world markets. The strategy of growth through geographic expansion had worked up to a point. But Amway/Quixtar’s own sales forecasts predicted less-than-stellar increases for the next five years. Global sales since 2000 had been sporadic: $5.1 billion that year, $4.1 billion in 2001, $4.5 billion in 2002, a nice jump to $6.2 billion in 2004, and slightly more in 2005, at $6.4 billion. In 2006, though, sales fell to $6.3 billion. Steve and Doug were worried that if they didn’t do something to rev up sales and act soon, they’d be forced to react in the future. “We said we have to do something to change the trajectory,” Doug recalled. The business was “stuck.”10 About 80 percent of the world already had access to Amway. How could it continue growing well into the future?

To be sure, the business had strengths: a large and committed sales force, a recognized brand, a research-and-development arm, manufacturing plants, success in global markets. But there was a generational disconnect. Times and attitudes were very different than when Jay and Rich started the company. “They actually lived the dream,” Doug remarked. “The difference is, I don’t have that (spirit) in the same way. I respect it, I love it . . . but I went to school to be a manager.” Steve agreed. “To me, regardless of personality, that is just a totally different dynamic to operating the business ...

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