Is Avon Still in Business?
Avon Products, Inc., popularly known as just Avon, is a direct-to-consumer company that sells products in the beauty, cosmetics, and personal care sectors.
The brand has been around since the 19th century and is one of the longest-serving organizations in the United States. Avon had established a rich relationship with the community, providing livelihood and employment to many like-minded entrepreneurs.
So when the company started disappearing from the country in the late 2010s, many citizens echoed the same question – is Avon still in business in 2023?
The short answer is yes. Avon is still operational on a global level, with its primary market in Brazil. The company underwent major rebranding and acquisitions in recent years to remain competitive in the modern market.
To get more detailed insights on Avon’s current status and updates, keep reading our article.
What is Avon Company?
The Avon Company is a British-American brand that operates in the skincare, perfume, and personal care industries. It adopts a traditional door-to-door sales approach to deliver the products directly to the consumers.
In the past, such a business model worked wonderfully for the veteran brand. In 2020, Avon enjoyed an impressive sales record of $9.1 billion across all the countries.
However, in recent years, the performance graph is not as impressive as it used to be. There are several reasons for that, which we shall discuss in later sections.
Avon is popular for providing effective products across several categories. But it became a household name after it started giving opportunities for women (and some men) to earn more cash using their sales technique.
The popular Avon Ladies (or Avon Men) would generate revenue for the brand by visiting households and trying to sell all the products locally. They would then earn a generous commission based on the profits they netted for the company.
Because of the effectiveness of its business approach and hefty sales incentives, Avon’s sales network grew to be one of the largest in the world.
Even in 2019, Avon was an attractive business venture for major investors. The same year, Natura & Co., a Brazilian multinational beauty brand, acquired Avon Products for an estimated value of around $2 billion.
So, what has happened since then? Let’s have a look at Avone business closure and bankruptcy rumors.
Is Avon Products, Inc. Shutting Down?
Fortunately, Avon Products is still operational on a global level, majorly operating in countries like Brazil, the United States, and the United Kingdom. While there is no evidence to suggest that the company might be overlooking bankruptcy, Avon’s performance has been rickety.
That’s mainly because Avon faced many challenges before the major acquisition in 2020. A faulty business model, failure to pivot as per modern standards, and massive lawsuits made the company unable to keep up with competitors like Sephora.
Sheri McCoy, the veteran business executive, took on the challenge of modernizing Avon and making it profitable once again in the 2010s. Unfortunately, the brand was far too widespread to change at a sustainable rate.
That, coupled with McCoy’s personal dilemmas and mistakes, resulted in a massive failure for the company. By 2017, Sheri’s stagnant term had come to an end, with Avon’s stock market plummeting to $1.3 billion without any improvements.
To every sane business professional, it seemed like Avon had run its course. However, the representatives of Natura & Co. had some other ideas.
Avon Company – 2023 Update
So, what has been going on at Avon following its major acquisition in 2020? Customers in the United States are primarily interested in this question following the brand’s gradual loss of influence in the country.
After Natura & Co. took over the brand, the focus shifted to Brazilian and Hispanic markets. The company is still using a door-to-door sales approach, having employed more than 1 million representatives just to cover Brazil’s territories.
In terms of profits and success, Avon is doing decent, particularly due to a more refined business approach. The company is no longer spending a large chunk of its budget on failed and evolved markets like the United States.
While Avon is no longer the imposing figure it once was, the company is far from disappearing or shutting down like it was predicted before.
Avon’s Rebranding and Name Change
Shortly after completing the acquisition, Natura and Co. embarked on the journey of rebranding Avon completely.
In 2021, New Avon officially changed its name to The Avon Company. According to the company’s CEO, the change was important to reflect Avon’s unique mark in American history as a social-selling beauty company and its diversified product range.
Earlier, Avon was popular for operating in some select categories. But the new name promoted its involvement in brand offerings like Belif, Mission Luxeeve, CHI, and Daily Essentials or home-based products.
Since the name change wasn’t drastic, it did not digress from the brand’s original positioning in the market. From a businessman’s perspective, this stage of rebranding was only a symbol of a new age and nothing more.
It did nothing to improve or deteriorate Avon’s sales performance.
Reasons Behind Avon’s Recent Struggles
Once the pioneer of personal selling in the United States, Avon became a small blimp in a radar full of outperforming competitors since the dawn of the 21st century.
So, what went wrong for the beauty brand?
Unfortunately, many things – one after the other.
1. Avon’s Dwindling Sales Force
A large part of Avon’s success in the early years was because of the company’s talented and proprietary sales forces.
Millions of Avon Ladies and Avon Men would go on a community-oriented quest to sell as many products as possible to local prospects.
But the increasingly complicated commission structure in the later years warded off a large chunk of this sales force. McCoy, the ex-CEO, tried to soften up the company’s policies, but it was too late.
Many Avon sales representatives had already resigned by then, landing a significant blow to the company.
2. Avon’s Late Entry in E-Commerce
Every product-based business understood that E-Commerce was the future as the 2000s rolled in. Unfortunately, Avon did not.
The company still relied on its door-to-door sales technique in technology-oriented countries like France and the United States.
In 2014, Avon made its first attempt to launch an E-Commerce website in an attempt to save face and cut down losses.
Avon’s aversion to technology did not end there. In 2013, the company decided not to spend any money on the planned software upgrade worth around $125 million. As a result, employees and representatives alike struggled with Avon’s lackluster online systems.
3. Excessive Investment in US Markets
For many years, Wall Street was trying to advise McCoy to move Avon out of the US market as it was causing the company serious money without providing any significant profits.
The CEO, however, decided against it. She also did not partner up with any other bigger brands to make the company’s products more visible and accessible to the general population.
McCoy’s decision to keep investing in the US market instead of focusing on Brazil and Mexico had some long-term financial repercussions for the company, something that they struggled to recover from in the years to come.
4. Delayed Entry in Other Markets
Avon’s business model was better suited for markets in select countries outside of the United States and the United Kingdom.
However, the brand did nothing to exploit this opportunity for many years.
Its focus on other communities, especially in Hispanic counties, only grew in later years. The late entry into markets with proportionally big spenders on beauty was a bad business decision, which paved the way for the company’s financial struggles in the following years.
Where Can I Buy Avon Products in 2023?
In most countries, the easiest way to buy Avon products is through the brand’s own website. Some product lines, like makeup offerings and beauty creams, are also available on major E-Commerce platforms like Amazon.
If you live in the United States or other major markets, it’s unlikely that you will ever come across one of Avon Ladies or Avon Men. That’s because the brand has stopped operating locally in markets where door-to-door salesmanship has become obsolete.
On the other hand, Brazilian communities are well-versed with Avon’s diverse product lines because of their frequent encounters with the brand’s personal salesforce.
What’s in Store for Avon? Our Opinion
There aren’t many companies that can brag about being in the mix for more than a century and still going strong.
Fortunately, Avon fits the bill.
But the brand’s dwindling presence in major markets has gotten many loyal consumers concerned.
Will Avon continue to struggle and eventually die out? In our opinion, that is possible if the CEO continues the door-to-door sales technique and relies on some markets like Brazil and Mexico.
To truly compete with giants in the beauty space, a major e-commerce repositioning is long overdue. Partnering with retail brands and stores across different regions can also help Avon’s cause.
Without pivoting as per the demands of the modern consumer, Avon’s future could be in doubt.
Avon is a familiar name for young and old shoppers alike. Its slow and gradual disappearance in major capitalist markets could be because of many reasons – an outdated business model, lack of technological developments, and so on.
Fortunately, though, Avon is still alive and doing well in counties like Brazil. The brand also has an online presence now, allowing users in the USA and other countries to access its products easily.
While Avon is not as imposing or popular as it used to be, the future could be bright for the cosmetics giant with the right planning.