Avon launches first UK shops in beauty brand's 137-year history as Superdrug partnership also expands
Avon is a beauty brand known for being sold door-to-door but shoppers will soon be able to get products from the first UK physical shops
Avon is a beauty company with a history spanning more than 130 years, but it became known for door-to-door selling and later via social media. This will be the first time its products will be available to buy directly from physical Avon stores, in what has been described as "an exciting new chapter" for the brand.
That's not all beauty fans have got to look forward to as Avon is also rolling out its beauty range further across the Superdrug chain. This follows its partnership which was launched in September with the beauty and pharmacy chain, which has seen Avon products sold in UK high street shops for the first time.
So, what do we know about the launch of the new Avon shops and also the Superdrug store expansion? Read on to find out.
Avon - when and where will the new UK stores launch?
Avon's foray into bricks and mortar retailing marks a major shift in its business model, and is the latest step it has taken to grow the number of ways for shoppers to buy its products. The shops, which will be run under the Avon fascia as franchises by its representatives, will open within the next two months. It has not yet been revealed where the UK shops will be, however, or exactly when they will open.
Avon was founded in 1886 and started out selling products direct into the home through a network of door-to-door representatives, offering women a way to earn independent income. Many Avon reps still sell door-to-door but sales have increasingly shifted towards online and social media in recent years, particularly throughout the pandemic.
The UK store plans are part of a wider global move into physical retailing, with the group launching representative-run franchise retail stores in key international markets including Brazil and South Africa. It first launched the franchise store model in Turkey almost three years ago, where it now has 63 outlets, and Avon said it has seen sales growth double in the region.
Angela Cretu, global chief executive of Avon International, told the PA news agency: “We are on the cusp of new frontiers for Avon. It’s an exciting new chapter.”
She added that the expansion into physical stores was being made in response to the fact that the majority of beauty purchases , a total of 80 per cent, are made through retail. “Women like to touch and experience the product and have that joy of seeing all the colours available,” she said. But she said that the decision also reflects the changes seen among its customer base since Avon was launched 137 years ago. “Women stayed at home in the past, but now they are going out to work and we have to follow them wherever they spend their time and make the service as convenient as possible.”
Avon is starting with a handful of UK retail stores initially, with aims for them to be “mini beauty boutiques”, according to Cretu. While the brand has yet to confirm the locations of the stores, it said that rather than targeting traditional high streets, they would be based in “neighbourhood communities”.
Avon - what products will be available in the new shops?
The stores will feature around 150 products, but the full range of items will still only be available through Avon representatives. “Many customers go to the stores for an opportunity to try many of the products, or simply to enjoy a pamper experience with a beauty adviser,” according to Cretu.
She said the group is providing training to representatives to be able to launch and run the retail franchises and provide them with the technology needed to run the businesses. “We want to be as inclusive as possible. We want to give women the opportunity to open a business, especially in areas where it is not so easy for them to launch a start up.”
Avon - what is the partnership with Superdrug?
Avon, which initially launched across 100 Superdrug stores and the retailer’s website, will expand products across hundreds more stores from Monday November 27, but it's not yet been announced which stores will be included in the expansion. There are also plans in the pipeline to extend throughout the entire Superdrug chain, which includes more than 800 Superdrug stores across the UK and Ireland in total.