The other social network boom

While bricks-and-mortar retailers lose market share to more nimble online stores, old school direct 'party plan' sellers enjoy the spoils.

Quizzed on a fresh business idea back in the '90s, the late founder of The Body Shop Anita Roddick memorably answered: “The greatest sickness in our society is loneliness and if any one of us has a product or a store that counteracts loneliness, then we will have a business that will last forever.”

Mark Zuckerberg sure paid attention.

And over in retail, direct sellers -- sometimes known as party plan sellers – were also on to something.

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