Avon to close Australia and New Zealand operations by end of 2018

By on
Italian Baroque Mirror Aleph500Adam/Creative Commons

Australia is saying goodbye to Avon for good after the cosmetics company announced “with much sadness” that it is putting an end to its local operation. The US retail giant said in a statement that the decision formed part of its strategy to “return Avon to long-term sustainable profitable growth.”

Avon has confirmed that it would close its operations here. The company’s statement says that focus is expected to shift to markets with the greatest potential for future growth. The company added that it will close shop in New Zealand as well.

Avon has reportedly considered all options before it came up with the decision. It also conducted a thorough deliberation on its performance, the direct selling conditions in the market as well as the potential for growth. The company reportedly employs 220 staff members.

Avon ANZ president and managing director Sharon Plant called it a “sad day” for employees and representatives. Plant said that their commitment and focus as a management team in the days, weeks and months to come is to “support our people and the wider Avon community” who are affected by the decision. She thanked all the employees, representatives and customers in Australia and New Zealand for supporting the company over the years.

The recent announcement means that Avon ladies will be left without beauty products to sell. About 21,000 Australian direct sellers will bid farewell to the business by the end of the year.

Many sales representatives took to social media to share their reactions to the news. Sarina Judd, who has been an Avon representative for decades, wrote that she could not believe she “found out from one of my customers who saw it” on Facebook. She added that she was really disappointed. Another Avon lady said that Avon should have notified them before announcing to the public.

Known for its direct-selling method, the beauty company landed in Australia in 1963. Avon ladies saw the business as an opportunity to be their own boss by selling cosmetics and beauty products.

David H McConnell, Avon’s founder, established the company in New York in 1886. It has spread across the world over the decades, offering its products through representatives in over 70 countries. Avon is known as one of the world’s largest beauty company and the second-largest direct selling enterprise.