|Founder||David H. McConnell|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Chan W. Galbato|
|Revenue||US$ 5.5 billion (2018)|
|US$ 235.2 million (2018)|
|US$ -107.4 million (2016)|
|Total assets||US$ 3.01 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||US$ -848 million (2016)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
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.
David H. McConnellEdit
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 trademarkEdit
The California 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 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 acquisitionsEdit
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.
Recently, Avon has struggled. In 2014, its 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.
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 uses multi-level marketing to recruit sales representatives, who sell beauty products, jewelry, accessories and clothing.
Some of the brand-names used by the company include Avon, Avon Naturals, 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.
Celebrity beauty ambassadorsEdit
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 three-day event open to all representatives at a fee, where they can attend 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 was hosted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Avon Repfest 2018 was held July 27-29 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
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 1955.
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.
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 cause.
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 chargesEdit
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 Practices Act.
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 (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. 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.
Withdrawal from major marketsEdit
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 employees. The company has attracted criticism for poor communication with its customers and employees.
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