UK trade body for direct-to-consumer retail, the Direct Selling Association (DSA), has appointed Simon Bowler as the new chairman of its board after the director’s nine-year term ended General of Amway UK and Ireland, Andy Smith.
Simon Bowler, who has been a member of DSA’s Board of Directors since 2015, assumes the role of Chairman alongside his role as Vice President, Global Partner Relations at The Juice Plus+ Company, with whom he has worked for 31 years.
The DSA is the recognized trade body for the UK direct selling industry and is committed to upholding standards and promoting and encouraging best practice. Brands under the DSA umbrella include Avon, The Body Shop and Usborne Publishing.
The appointment comes as direct selling is experiencing a renaissance in the UK, with many of the DSA’s 53 member companies reporting significant growth during the pandemic. In 2021, the DSA reported an average 45% year-over-year increase in member retail sales, one of the strongest periods of annual growth on record since the 1970s. the growth is attributed to a 12% increase in the number of people joining the industry as independent sales representatives, as more people seek to retain the benefits of flexible and remote working they have enjoyed during the pandemic .
Susannah Schofield OBE, Managing Director of the Direct Selling Association, comments: “Simon brings with him a wealth of experience from an international career specializing in the retail direct selling channel. I am delighted to work with him as President moving forward.
“Along with the Board of Directors, I express my sincere thanks to Andy Smith for his dedicated service to DSA during his nine years as President. During this time, he helped oversee a series of significant enhancements to industry codes of conduct and undertook much work to nurture the next generation of talent in this area of retail.
“On a personal level, I am especially grateful for the guidance and support Andy has given me since I became Managing Director in 2019.”
Andy Smith will remain on the DSA board, alongside other key industry leaders such as Matthieu Comard, managing director of Avon Western Europe, and Peter Kropp, global director of The Body Shop at Home.
Simon Bowler started working with Juice Plus+ as a field sales representative in 1990, at the age of 28. His potential was quickly spotted and he went on to take on various roles within the company, including Regional Manager for the UK, Ireland, Benelux, Italy and Spain, as it expanded across Europe in the 1990s. His current appointment as VP Global Partner Relations was made in 2020 and focuses on the management and development of Global Sales Directors/Managers of the company in the 27 countries around the world in which Juice Plus+ operates. Simon Bowler is based at the company’s London headquarters at Forgeron.
Simon Bowler, President of the Direct Selling Association, comments: “Direct-to-consumer is the channel to watch in the retail world right now, delivering greater relevance to a new generation of consumers who are looking for highly personalized purchases. Direct selling is perfectly placed to meet this demand.
“I look forward to working with the DSA team and with member companies to further develop best practices and continue to educate key stakeholders on the benefits of direct selling as a direct-to-consumer retail strategy.