Tuesday 14 November 2023

Avon To Open First Physical Stores

Avon, the cosmetics and personal care brand which has traditionally been sold via a direct-selling model, is set to open its first-ever physical stores in the UK.

The 137-year-old brand has previously relied on an army of door-to-door sales reps to demonstrate and sell its products. However, the pandemic accelerated Avon’s shift to online sales.

The company is now planning to roll out a bricks & mortar format in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. It already has 63 stores in Turkey, growing rapidly over the last three years.

Avon’s Chief Executive Angela Cretu described the move as an “exciting new chapter” for the brand, with it looking to follow women “wherever they spend their time”. She added: “Women like to touch and experience the product and have that joy of seeing all the colours available.”

The first stores in the UK are expected to open over the next couple of months in “neighbourhood communities” rather than on traditional high street locations. They will be “mini beauty boutiques” run by sales representatives as franchises. The stores will feature about 150 products, with the full range available through the sales representative.

Retail analyst Natalie Berg noted that the Avon brand remained “a little dated” but suggested that the opening of physical stores could be beneficial for the company.

“You can’t overestimate the power of human touch and the community you get in a physical store environment,” she said, adding that this was particularly true for beauty products.

Berg stated that Avon would need to get its in-store technology right in order to compete with leading brands that have invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality. However, she said that local stores could have a “halo effect” by helping customers find products they later continue buying from sales reps and online.

Avon made its debut on UK high streets last month via a partnership with Superdrug. The health & beauty retailer is stocking over 150 of Avon’s make-up, skincare and fragrance products in 100 stores, with additional items available online. From 27 November, the partnership will be expanded to hundreds more stores with plans to eventually make Avon products available through Superdrug’s entire chain of almost 800 outlets.

Avon was acquired in 2019 by Natura &Co, the Brazilian beauty group that also owns The Body Shop.

NamNews Implications:

  • If Avon can continue their consumer-product ‘intimacy’ instore…
  • …they will represent something different in cosmetic selling.
  • ‘Avon local stores could have a “halo effect” by helping customers find products they later continue buying from sales reps and online’
  • Fingers crossed…
hashtagDirectToConsumer hashtagAvon hashtagCosmetics

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