Avon, struggling in the Glossier era, sells to a Brazilian beauty conglomerate

By Elizabeth Segran

Natura Cosmeticos, a Brazilian beauty conglomerate, just purchased Avon, the iconic British company best known for its vast network of saleswomen known as “Avon ladies,” who sell products door-to-door. The terms of the deal were not made public. In 2017, Natura bought The Body Shop, another British beauty company, from L’Oreal.

Avon, which was founded in 1886, had been struggling financially and losing salespeople. However, it is still the fifth largest beauty company in the world, with a salesforce of 6.4 million reps worldwide, and generating $5.5 billion globally in 2018.

Part of Avon’s woes had to do with the fact that the company had not kept up with changing consumer behavior. There have also been many beauty startups vying for Avon’s customer. Glossier, for instance, launched in 2014 targeting millennials with a strong social media presence. It creates product based on the vast amounts of customer data it gathers. It is now worth $1 billion. Beautycounter, launched in 2013, creates products free of 1,300 known toxins or questionable ingredients. It is currently valued at around $400 million.

In the hands of Natura, Avon products could be sold throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia using the company’s vast distribution channels, which include a global footprint of 3,200 stores. In a release, Natura says it expects to generate annual gross revenues of more than $10 billion across 100 countries.


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