Avon Products, Inc, known as Avon, founded by
David H. McConnell
David H. McConnell in
1886 is a direct selling company in beauty, household, and personal
care categories. Avon had annual sales of $5.7 billion worldwide in
It is the fifth-largest beauty company and, with 6.4 million
representatives, is the second largest direct selling enterprise in
the world (after Amway).
Avon Products is a multi-level marketing
company. The company's
CEO is Jan Zijderveld, who was appointed to
the position in February 2018.
1.1 David H. McConnell
1.2 Early Avon trademark
1.3 International expansion
1.4 Mergers and acquisitions
1.5 Recent history
2 Business model
2.1 Celebrity beauty ambassadors
2.2 Representative Life
2.2.1 Avon Repfest
3 Avon Foundation
3.1 Breast cancer
5.1 Chinese corruption charges
5.2 Animal testing
5.3 Labour harassment in Turkey
6 Withdrawal from major markets
7 See also
9 External links
David H. McConnell
David H. McConnell
David H. McConnell was first a struggling door-to-door salesman who
used to sell books 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 when his business partner suggested
he call 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 1894, Alexander D. Henderson, Vice-President and Treasurer, joined
the company and helped to shape its policies and assist in its
growth. On June 16, 1909, McConnell and Henderson signed an
agreement of Corporation 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.
Early Avon trademark
The drawing stylized word AVON mark is an expired trademark at the
USPTO, and owned by Avon Products, Inc.
Perfume Company, Inc. of New York filed their first
trademark application for Avon on June 3, 1932 with the USPTO. Part of
the description for goods and services provided to the
"perfumes, toilet waters, powder and rouge compacts, lipsticks", and
other toiletry products. First use and commercial use for Avon by the
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
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
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
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
In March, 2016,
Cerberus Capital Management
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 it
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.
Recently, Avon has struggled. In 2014, its global sales had fallen for
five straight years, and its North American revenues fell 18% that
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.
Jan Zijderveld was appointed the company's
CEO in February 2018.
The former CEO, Sherilyn S. McCoy, stayed on as an adviser to the
Board and to Zijderveld through March 31, 2018.
An Avon training center in the Bronx
Avon uses both door-to-door salespeople ("Avon ladies" primarily, as
well as some 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 uses multi-level marketing to recruit
sales representatives, who sell beauty products, jewelry, accessories
Avon representatives are considered an independent sales
representatives running her or his own business. Some of the
brand-names used by the company include Avon, Avon Naturals,
Skin-So-Soft and Mark. 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
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.
Celebrity beauty ambassadors
Mark. cosmetics, an Avon fashion and beauty brand, has featured
multiple celebrity ambassadors throughout its development in 2003.
Notable ambassadors include Lauren Conrad, Ashley Greene, and
currently Lucy Hale.
Avon hosts an annual Repfest, a 3-day event open to all
representatives at a fee. The Repfest serves as an opportunity to
inspire representatives from across the country[which?] by giving them
a chance to network and participate in business-building training
seminars. In August 2016, the Repfest was hosted at the MGM Grand
Hotel & Casino's convention center in Las Vegas, NV. In August
2017, it will be hosted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort &
Convention Center in Nashville, TN.
In addition to its corporate pursuits, the Avon corporation is
involved in philanthropic causes. The Avon Foundation for Women
describes itself as the largest corporate philanthropy dedicated to
women's causes globally. The Avon Foundation awards scholarships
for Avon representatives and family members. Avon founded the Avon
Foundation for Women with its first grant, a $400 scholarship, in
Additionally, the company's Speak Out Against Domestic Violence
program aims to reduce domestic violence. Through 2012, Avon
global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, reports having
donated more than $910 million in more than 50 countries.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Beginning in the early 1990s, Avon also began donating towards breast
cancer research and care, through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and
the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, a series of U.S. based charity
walks. Before 2003, the Walk was a function of Pallotta Teamworks,
with Avon being the beneficiary. Since 2003, the charity reports that
more than 180,000 Walk participants have raised $472 million for the
In Sep 14, 2000, Avon restated its financial statements to reflect the
additional write off as of March 31, 1999 of all capitalized costs,
associated with the FIRST project as of that date and a reversal of
the charge recorded in the third quarter of 2001. In 2001, Avon
adopted new provisions and as a result, all prior periods were
restated to reflect shipping and handling fees.
Chinese corruption charges
Since at least 2008, the conduct of various employees and executives
of Avon has been investigated for possible violations of the law,
including possible bribery and violations of the Foreign Corrupt
Avon began a probe of its China division after allegations of 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 has 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 Times
reported that the final tally may be close to $250 million, after
which Avon would report the findings to the United States Department
of Justice and the
Securities and Exchange Commission
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,
they would no longer participate in animal testing. As an
ambassador of non-animal testing methods, Avon is 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. Due to laws mandated by different
countries, Avon is forced to test those specific cosmetics on animals
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.
Labour harassment in Turkey
In 2016, Avon's branch in Turkey (Gebze industrial zone near Istanbul)
has been alleged of discrimination against women and union
Withdrawal from major markets
On 14 October 2013, Avon announced the closure of its branch in France
at the end of that month. Its French representatives 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,
France has begun 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
representatives. The company attracted criticism for alleged poor
communication with its customers and representatives.
List of companies in the United States
List of S&P 400 companies
IR3535, the repellent found in Avon Skin So Soft.
^ "Celgene, Kinder Morgan and Actavis Set to Join the S&P 100;
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^ a b c d "US SEC: Form 8-K (Feb 3, 2018)". U.S. Securities and
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^ "About: Mark".
Lucy Hale Named
Beauty Ambassador of Mark. Cosmetics".
^ "Avon Repfest Official Website". Avon.com. 2017-02-14.
^ "Avon RepFest 2016". Multiview. 2017-02-14.
^ "Avon RepFest 2017". Facebook. 2017-02-14.
^ Avon Foundation website, "About the Foundation" Archived June 3,
2013, at the Wayback Machine., June 2013
^ "Avon Foundation for Women". www.avoncompany.com. Retrieved
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^ Avon Foundation website, "Our Causes" Archived June 2, 2013, at the
Wayback Machine., June 2013
^ Avon Walk website, "Cities and Dates", June 2013
^ Avon Walk website, "How Your Donations Help", June 2013
^ Avon Foundation website, "Breast Cancer Events" Archived June 3,
2013, at the Wayback Machine., June 2013
^ "Avon Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Results, In Line
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^ a b
^ a b
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^ "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
^ "Search for Cruelty-Free Companies, Products, and More". PETA.
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^ "Avon to close its French operations". BBC News. 14 October 2013.
Retrieved 14 October 2013.
^ Weil, Jennifer (28 January 2014). "Avon
France Said Seeking
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^ "Media Statement - 15 February 2018" (PDF). Avon. 15 February 2018.
Retrieved 15 February 2018.
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