The Amway Story
Friendship and Opportunity
Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos launched their business in the 1950s selling NUTRILITE™ Dietary Supplements door-to-door. What they discovered over 50 years ago still remains true today – that people and relationships are at the core of any successful business. By establishing trust with their customers, their vitamin business grew. By 1959 Rich, Jay and their few associates looked for new product ideas to expand their efforts. The result was Amway's first homecare product, which today is called L.O.C.™ (Liquid Organic Cleaner) Multi-Purpose Cleaner. It was an instant sales success story, opening up a whole new world of opportunity.
A Business Model Is Born
Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos wanted to share their newfound success with others who held their values and vision. They created a unique business model that allowed others to join Amway and participate in the benefits of the expanding business. It became a model for reward and recognition that continues to be developed in Amway markets around the world.
AMWAY™ Homecare products, including the newly launched SA8™ Laundry Detergent, proved to be big sellers. Within a few short years, the company had more than 700 employees, over 200 exclusive products, and more than 100,000 Distributors. Amway's annual sales rapidly expanded, exceeding US $500,000 (estimated retail) for the first time.
Persuaded by our values, caring attitude and the potential of the business opportunity, more and more people became part of the Amway family. By the mid '70s, Amway trucks were travelling more than 3.25 million miles (approx 5.23 million kilometers) per year, shipping products to millions of Distributors.
The company expanded overseas, opening markets in eight countries on three continents. Amway launched in Australia in 1971, swiftly followed by Europe in 1975, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Amway Japan Limited (AJL), founded in Tokyo in 1979, quickly became one of the largest Amway markets.
$1 Billion Plus and Still Growing
The Amway commitment to health and nutrition led the company to pioneer water treatment systems, with very successful results. Clean water is a major challenge for many in the world, and this concern played a large role in Amway research and development. The Amway water treatment product line – eSpring™ – continues to hold a top position in the global marketplace today.
Estimated annual retail sales exceeded $1 billion for the first time. Amway expanded its U.S. headquarters in Ada, Michigan, and built a new cosmetics plant where ARTISTRY™ products were developed and manufactured.
Following in their fathers' footsteps, Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos succeeded as Chairman and President of Amway, building upon and continuing the successes of their parents. The 1990s saw continued expansion with estimated retail sales volumes reaching US $5 billion.
To increase brand awareness, Amway Japan sponsored the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic games in Japan. All around the world, Amway regional and country affiliates continued to support their Distributors with the launch of e-commerce sites that extend the Amway opportunity onto the internet.
Amway remains a thriving, multibillion-dollar international business, improving people’s lives and representing opportunity in more than 80 international markets and territories. AMWAY™ products are distributed through more than 3 million independent Amway Business Owners worldwide - 500,000 of them are located in Europe.
Amway is currently active in 28 European countries.
Our vision is to help people live better lives. Ours is a unique global community of caring and cooperation, and we take great pride in the principles, people and products that enable us to play a positive role in so many people’s lives around the world.