London's top-ranking official was scheduled to meet with Nu Skin International officials Wednesday to try to lure the company to open a market in England.
The Right Honourable Sir Paul Newall, the 666th lord mayor of London, was scheduled to arrive at the Provo Airport at 2:45 p.m. From 3 to 4 p.m. Newall planned to meet with Renn Patch, vice president of international markets."He initiated the contact," said Jan Hemming, Nu Skin manager of media relations. "Apparently he sees us as the type of company that he would like to entice to his city and open a market there."
Nu Skin, a Provo-based company that sells personal care and nutritional products through multilevel marketing, has operations in seven foreign markets. The company this year began selling products in Mexico. Japan is the company's largest foreign market.
"In the countries that we are in, direct selling is an acceptable and successful form of business," Hemming said.
Nu Skin officials say it is unique that London officials are courting them. Normally, Nu Skin decides which foreign market to target and then goes through a lengthy approval process before opening a new operation. It took the company two years and several million dollars to get into Japan.
"We pick a foreign market and we target it and go through the process of meeting all the regulatory rules," Hemming said.
Hemming said expanding into Europe is part of Nu Skin's long-range game plan. The lord mayor's visit to Provo, however, might speed that timetable up.
"Europe has certainly always been an area that we've looked at. It has never been a matter of if, but a matter of when," she said.
Besides the United States, Japan and Mexico, Nu Skin has markets in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.