• GDP nominal: 3,868 billion USD
  • Unemployment rate: 5%
  • Population: 80 million
  • Ease-of-doing-business rank: 15th

Germany is the largest national economy in Europe, the 4th largest by nominal GDP in the world. Germany has a social market economy with a highly skilled labor force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption and a high level of innovation. In 2014, Germany recorded the highest trade surplus in the world worth 285 billion, making it the biggest capital exporter globally.

Germany is recognized for its large portion of specialized small and medium enterprises, known as the Mittelstand model. Around 1,000 of these companies are global market leaders in their segment and are labelled hidden champions. Berlin developed a thriving, cosmopolitan hub for startup companies and became a leading location for venture capital funded firms in the European Union.

The overall unemployment rate has consistently fallen since 2005 and reached a 20-year low in 2012. The country in July 2014 began legislating to introduce a federally mandated minimum wage which has come into effect on January 1st, 2015.


Direct Selling in Germany

  • GDP Growth Constant Local Currency 2014: 1.6%
  • YoY Industry Growth Constant USD 2014: 4.8%

Germany is the largest Direct Sales market in Europe and the 6th biggest market in the world (8.9B USD). Germany is approximately the size of the #2 and #3 European Markets, the UK and France, in terms of revenue. Germany is also the second fastest growing market in West Europe after the UK, (CAGR of 5.7%).

Compared to the UK which is mostly composed of U.S. based Multi-level marketing companies and France, where it’s competitive landscape is mostly composed of Single-level local companies, the German Direct Selling market offers the best balance between historic national and international Direct Selling companies. It is also the most diversified market in terms of products and compensation structures. Germany has the highest number of companies (4) in the European top 10 and they all belong to a different category (Cooking Appliances, Beverages, Beauty and Nutrition).

The largest European Direct Selling company is German (world #5) with presence in more than 75 international markets.

The German Direct Selling industry has managed to withstand the competition of E-Commerce for 2 reasons: consumers continue to prefer personalized advice and social interactions that the channel offers and because Direct Selling companies have been able to offer modern E-commerce functions to their Sales Force.

Sources: ASENSHIA, World Bank, WFDSA, Euromonitor, Wikipedia
CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate expressed in Constant USD 2014, between 2011 and 2014

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