|Founder||David H. McConnell|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Revenue||R$ 9.1 billion (2020)|
|US$ 235.2 million (2018)|
|US$ -107.4 million (2016)|
|Total assets||US$ 3.01 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||US$ -848 million (2016)|
|Owner||Natura & Co (76%)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
Avon Products, Inc. or simply known as Avon, is a multinational cosmetics, skin care, fragrance and personal care company, based in London. Avon had annual sales of $5.57 billion worldwide in 2019.
It is the fourteenth-largest beauty company and, with 6.4 million representatives, is the second largest direct-selling enterprise in the world (after Amway). The company's CEO is Angela Cretu, who was appointed to the position in January 2020.
Avon's founder, David H. McConnell, initially sold books as a door-to-door salesman to New York homes. In September 1886, he decided to sell perfumes rather than books. He started the new business in a small office at 126 Chambers Street, Manhattan, New York. McConnell changed the company name in 1892. His business partner suggested calling it the "California Perfume Company." His business partner was living in California at the time and suggested the name because of the abundance of flowers in California.
In May 1894, Alexander D. Henderson joined the company, became vice-president and treasurer, and helped shape its policies and assist in its growth. In 1897 they built a laboratory in Suffern, New York. On May 3, 1909, the California Perfume Company corporate office moved to 31 Park Place, New York. On June 16, 1909, McConnell and Henderson signed an agreement of Incorporation for the California Perfume Company in the state of New Jersey. On January 28, 1916, the California Perfume Company was incorporated in the state of New York. McConnell, Henderson, and William Scheele were listed as company officials. On October 6, 1939, the California Perfume Company changed its name to Avon Products Inc.
The "California Perfume Company, Inc." of New York filed its first trademark application for Avon on June 3, 1932, with the USPTO. Part of the description for goods and services provided to the USPTO included "perfumes, toilet waters, powder and rouge compacts, lipsticks", and other toiletry products. First use and commercial use for Avon by the California Perfume Company was on September 1, 1929. Registration was granted on August 30, 1932.
Avon sells products in over 100 countries. Brazil is the company's largest market, passing the United States in 2010. Avon entered the Chinese market in 1990. Direct selling was outlawed in China in 1998, which forced Avon to sell only through physical stores called Beauty Boutiques. The ban was lifted in 2001, and the company received a license for direct selling in 2006.
88% of Avon's 2013 revenue (around $10 billion) came from overseas markets.
Mergers and acquisitions
Avon purchased Silpada, a direct seller of silver jewelry, in 2010 for $650 million. In May 2012, perfume company Coty, Inc. offered $24.75 a share for Avon, which was nearly 20 percent above Avon's stock price at the time. While Fox Business Network reported that Avon delayed the process and Coty withdrew its offer, earlier reports said that Avon rejected the bid, stating "At the time, the board concluded, and it still believes, that Coty's indication of interest is opportunistic and not in the best interest of Avon's shareholders."
In March 2016, Cerberus Capital Management paid $435 million in cash for preferred stock in Avon Products. This move was the conclusion of a deal initiated in December 2015, when Avon sold 80.1 percent of its North American Business to Cerberus for $170 million. The total value of the deal was $605 million. The investment resulted in Cerberus having an almost 17 percent stake in Avon Products.
In January 2020, Natura &Co closed the acquisition of Avon Products, Inc. The Natura &Co group also includes Natura, Aesop, and The Body Shop, and with the acquisition of Avon has created the world's fourth-largest pure-play beauty company.
In 2014, Avon's global sales had fallen for five straight years, and its North American revenues fell 18% that year.
In 2016, Avon completed the separation of its United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico business as New Avon LLC, which also trades with the "Avon" name. As part of a three-year plan, the global Avon Products moved its headquarters to London in the United Kingdom.
In August 2019, New Avon LLC, the privately held North American company that split from Avon Products, Inc. (Avon Worldwide) in 2016 entered into a definitive agreement with South Korean consumer goods giant LG Household & Health Care, Ltd., which will purchase the direct-selling cosmetics business for $125 million in cash.
In 2019, the Brazilian beauty company Natura agreed to buy Avon Products for more than $2bn via a share swap, creating the world's fourth-largest beauty company. Under the deal's terms, Natura will hold 76% of the combined business with over $10 billion in annual revenue.
In June 2020, a new logo of Avon was released. In September 2020, the company launched a new marketing campaign entitled "Watch Me Now". The campaign included new brand visuals, including a revised logo.
In January 2021, New Avon Company Announces Corporate Name Change to The Avon Company.
Avon uses both door-to-door salespeople ("Avon ladies", as well as "Avon men") and brochures to advertise its products. The first Avon lady was Persis Foster Eames Albee. Avon operates training centers for potential representatives. Some Avon training centers have a small retail section with skin care products, such as creams, serums, makeup, and washes. Avon recruits sales representatives who sell beauty products, jewelry, accessories, and clothing.
Some of the brand-names used by the company include Avon Color (also known as Avon True Color), mark., Imari, Far Away, Sweet Honesty, Little Dress Scents, Avon Fashions, Anew, Avon True NutraEffects, Naturals, Avon Care, Feelin Fresh and Skin So Soft. According to the U.S. government, Avon has 5 million to 6 million sales representatives operating in over 100 countries as of 2014. Avon and its subsidiaries have 40,000 to 50,000 employees, 6,000 of which are in the United States.
Avon was an early member of the U.S. Direct Selling Association, which was founded in 1910. The company left the association in 2014, saying that the trade group was not paying enough attention to the industry as a whole.
Chinese corruption charges
Beginning in 2008, the conduct of various employees and executives of Avon were investigated for possible violations of the law, including bribery and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Avon began a probe of its China division after an internal whistleblower alleged bribery in June 2008. At least four executives, both in Asia and in the United States, were suspended in 2010, and later fired for their roles in the activities being investigated. According to The New York Times, Avon spent over $170 million on legal fees and costs related to the investigation: $59 million in 2009 and $95 million in 2010, and $22.5 million for the first quarter of 2011. The final tally was about $500 million.
The Times reported that Avon would report the findings to the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and try to negotiate the penalties that those entities may impose. On February 24, 2011, Avon filed a report with the Securities and Exchange commission highlighting the investigation as a corporate risk factor that could cause investor loss.
In 2014, Avon settled the bribery charges for a total of $135 million; $68 million in criminal penalties, with the remainder in interest, disgorgement, and fines from a civil case brought by the SEC.
Avon vowed in 1989 that as a company located in the United States, it would no longer participate in animal testing. Avon has since claimed to be working globally to introduce safer methods of testing cosmetics that do not require animals. These methods include in vitro testing, computer simulations, and testing cosmetics on human volunteers.
Although Avon does not practice animal testing of its cosmetics that are sold in the United States, certain specialty products do require extensive testing in other countries. In China, specialty products that require degrees of animal testing include but are not limited to: sunscreen products, whitening/pigmentation products, and hair dye/perm or growth products. Despite laws that require animal testing in some countries, Avon chooses to distribute its products in those jurisdictions. Laws in various countries require companies to pay for animal testing through a commercial business in order to sell certain products in that country. Because Avon is not globally animal-testing free, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has not included Avon on their cruelty-free list.
In 2019, Avon ended all regulatory-required animal testing, making it the first global beauty company selling in China to stop all animal testing of ingredients and products across all its brands by developing new ways to deliver products that do not require animal testing, such as reformulating products. PETA has since announced that it has added Avon Products Inc. to their list of companies “Working for Regulatory Change.”
Withdrawal from major markets
In October 2013, Avon announced the closure of its branch in France at the end of that month. Its French employees accused it of keeping the workers in the dark for months and not acting in line with the company's publicly stated values of being a socially responsible company that upholds values of trust, respect and integrity and a culture of "open and candid communication." As of January 2014, Avon France was in receivership.
This was followed by an announcement via Facebook on 15 February 2018, that Avon Australia and New Zealand would close by the end of the year. This decision resulted in the loss of 220 jobs and 21,400 sales representatives. The company has attracted criticism for poor communication with its customers and employees.
- "Natura agrees to buy Avon, creating cosmetics powerhouse". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Avon Products". Fortune. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
- "Celgene, Kinder Morgan and Actavis Set to Join the S&P 100; Several Constituent Changes Announced for S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600". Mar 13, 2015.
- "US SEC: Form 10-K Avon Products, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "US SEC: Form 8-K (Feb 3, 2018)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- "US SEC:FORM 10-K AVON PRODUCTS, INC". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Dec 31, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Kowitt, Beth (April 30, 2012). "Avon: The Rise and Fall of a Beauty Icon". Fortune. 165 (6): 106–114. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
- "Angela Cretu appointed Avon CEO to drive next phase of transformation". Avon Worldwide. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
- "Natura &Co and Avon join forces to create a Direct-to-Consumer global beauty leader" (PDF) (Press release). Avon Products. May 22, 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "Avon updates its look, strategy". USATODAY.com. 2006-09-10. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- "Great Oak". Hagley Digital Archives. Avon Products, Inc. 1976. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
- Quote from an interview with David McConnell, Sr., April 15, 1936. Avon Achieves, IE7, 1936.
- "The Outlook". Hagley Digital Archives. California Perfume Company. 1922-11-01. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
- "CP Historical Timeline". www.californiaperfumecompany.com. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
- "Agreement of Incorporation for California Perfume Company". Hagley Digital Archives. 1909. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- Weekly Drug markets, New Incorporations. Google eBooks. 1916. p. Volume 2, Page 26. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
- "TIMELINE-Key dates in Avon's history". Reuters. 2012. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- "Avon Products settles bribery charges for $135M". Crain's New York Business. Associated Press. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- McIntyre, Douglas A. "10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2013". Fox Business.
- Smith, Aaron (2012-04-02). "Avon rejects $10 billion offer from Coty - Apr. 2, 2012". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Dominic Rushe in New York (2012-04-02). "Avon rejects $10bn takeover bid from celebrity-fragrance company Coty | World news | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Tiffany Hsu (April 2, 2012). "Avon rejects Rimmel owner Coty's $10-billion bid - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- Ausick, Paul (8 March 2016). "Avon Concludes Deal With Cerberus". 24/7 Wall Street. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- Becker, Nathan; Mattioli, Dana (17 December 2015). "Cerberus Strikes Deal to Buy into Avon". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- Natura &Co. "Natura &Co". naturaeco.com. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
- "Natura &Co to close acquisition of Avon". Avon Worldwide. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
- Wahba, Phil (14 April 2015). "Avon's in a ding-dong battle to stay in business". Fortune. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "Avon to move headquarters to UK". 15 March 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "LG Household & Health Care To Acquire New Avon, LLC". The Avon Company. 2019-12-31. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
- "Avon Secures Shareholder Approval for Takeover by Natura". Nasdaq. 2019-11-14. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
- Fontanella-Khan, James; Schipani, Andres (2019-05-22). "Brazil's Natura confirms $2bn deal to buy Avon". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
- Avon's New Visual ID Brand Book
- More Than a Beauty Company
- Watch me now: Avon unveils new brand campaign
- Avon's latest campaign is looking to transform brand perception
- "New Avon Company Announces Corporate Name Change to The Avon Company". about.avon.com. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
- Klepacki, Laura (2005). Avon: Building the World's Premier Company for Women. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-471-71026-1. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Ehrenfreund, Max (16 September 2014). "Avon splits with trade group, citing risk of pyramid schemes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- LLC, New Avon. "AVON - Shop Cosmetics, Fashion & Accessories". AVON. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
- Wohl, Jessica (2010-04-13). "UPDATE 2-Avon suspends four execs in China bribery probe". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
- "Avon Says It Probes Possible Corruption After Firing Four". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
- "The High Price of Internal Inquiries". N.Y. Times. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
- "Avon 10-K report". Sec.gov. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- Berfield, Susan (1 May 2014). "Avon's Ugly China Bribery Probe Ends With a $135 Million Settlement". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- "Avon Products, Inc. & Consumer Safety: Commitment to Science...Respect for Animal Welfare". www.avoncompany.com. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
- "Urge Avon to Stop Paying for Cruel Tests on Animals in China". PETA. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
- "Avon, Mary Kay, Estée Lauder (and Subsidiary MAC Cosmetics), and Revlon Are Paying for Tests on Animals". PETA. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
- "Search for Cruelty-Free Companies, Products, and More". PETA. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
- "Animal Welfare position | Avon". Avon Worldwide. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
- "PETA Recognizes Avon's Commitment to "Working for Regulatory Change"". Avon Worldwide. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
- "Avon to close its French operations". BBC News. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Weil, Jennifer (28 January 2014). "Avon France Said Seeking Receivership". WWD. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Media Statement - 15 February 2018" (PDF). Avon. 15 February 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
- Noyes, Jenny (16 February 2018). "End of an era: 220 to lose jobs as Avon plans to quit Australia and NZ". The Age.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avon Products.|