May Kay Sees Thirty Percent Uptick

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As the recession breeds layoffs, pay cuts and job uncertainty, the direct-selling industry appears to be reaping the benefits as workers seek supplemental income.

Dan Howard, professor of marketing with Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, said that in a recession, many workers are lured to direct selling. And local direct-sales companies, including Dallas-based Mary Kay Inc., have seen an increase in interest — and even a spike in its work force — in recent months.

Mary Kay has seen a 30% uptick since November in people logging onto the company’s Web page that provides information about becoming an independent consultant, said Rhonda Shasteen, chief marketing officer with the corporation. The company declined to say how many consultants it has added recently, however.