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City & Business: Tupperware's revenge

We recieved another new piece of Merrill research last week that makes all who ever made fun of Tupperware parties look stupid. Giggling over pots and pans may be naff, but Tupperware parties are the mother of all direct-selling schemes. And last year, according to Merrill analyst Heather Hay, direct selling of retail products generated pounds 50bn in sales, up 11.2 per cent year-on-year.

The hottest direct-selling operations, according to Merrill, are Avon, Amway and Nu Skin.