Avon Products, Avon

Avon Products, Inc. is a US cosmetics, perfume and toy seller with markets in over 140 countries across the world and sales of $9.9 billion worldwide as of 2007.

Avon Products is a multi-level marketing company. Traditionally a direct marketing company, Avon's fastest growing markets today are in China and Russia. The company's chairman and CEO is Andrea Jung, who was promoted to the position in 1999. Avon's product lines include makeup, bath and skin lotions, anti-aging cream, perfumes, as well as jewelry and clothing.

Avon uses both door-to-door sales people ("Avon ladies," primarily and a growing number of men) and catalogs to advertise its products. In some markets, Avon products are sold primarily in retail stores (most notably China, which had banned all door-to-door selling before mid-December 2006).

Although the company has always been more directed toward female customers, Avon's line of male products continues to expand, and its children's products (such as shampoos and toys) have also proved successful.

The company was founded in 1886 by then 28-year-old David H. McConnell who sold books door-to-door and gave out perfume to entice women to buy his books. His perfume proved to be much more popular than his books, so he then founded the California Perfume Company (CPC) in New York, New York in a 500-square-foot (46 m2) manufacturing and shipping office at 126 Chambers Street.

As the company grew, he hired his first representative, Mrs. P.F.E. Albee. In 1897, McConnell built a small (3000 square foot) laboratory in Suffern, New York. In 1906, the West Coast office in San Francisco was destroyed in the Great Earthquake. In 1914 the first non-US office was opened in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The California Perfume Company was incorporated on January 28, 1916 by David H. McConnell and Alexander D. Henderson (businessman) in Suffern, New York.[6]. By 1918, five million units were sold in North America, and by 1928, sales reached $2 million. In October 1939, the name was changed to Avon Products, Inc.

The company was taken public in 1946. By 1954, sales reached $55 million, and the "Avon Calling" advertising campaign introduced. By 1971 the lab would grow into the Avon Suffern Research and Development facility. By 1979, sales reached $3 billion, with one million direct sales agents. Today sales exceed $8 billion worldwide.

In 2005 they opened a $100 million dollar 225,000-square-foot (20,900 m2) R&D facility to house its over 300 research and development scientists on the original site in Suffern, NY. Avon also has offices in Luzerne, Pennsylvania and Davenport, Iowa.

Sales leadership was established by Avon in the United Kingdom in 2004. It is a network marketing or multilevel marketing (mlm) company. A MLM plan will pay active associates and their leaders a percentage of team sales. Sales leadership is open to any new and existing Avon Representatives.

Avon Foundation

In addition to its corporate pursuits, the Avon corporation is involved in philanthropic causes. The Avon Foundation is an accredited 501(c) public charity founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families. The Avon Foundation is currently focused on two key causes: breast cancer and domestic violence. Through 2007, Avon raised and awarded $580 million worldwide.

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, and has raised more than $525 million in over 50 countries to improve access to care and research to find a cure for breast cancer. Beneficiaries range from leading cancer centers to community-based non-profit breast health programs. Avon is slowly moving away from its support of breast cancer awareness in favor of other women's programs primarily domestic violence.Avon has raised over £15 million in the UK for the Breast Cancer Cause.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is the Avon Foundation for Women's largest annual fundraising initiative. The series of 9 Avon Walks for Breast Cancer are held each year from April to October. From 2003 through 2008, the Avon Walks have raised more than $265 million. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer also raises awareness as participants spend an entire weekend walking 39 miles through cities and towns around the country. In 2008 alone, hundreds of thousands of donors supported more than 24,000 walkers and crew who participated.

Avon Foundation Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program

The Avon Foundation Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program works to end the cycle of domestic violence. To date nearly $7 million has been awarded to more than 400 US domestic violence organizations for awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs, especially to assist children affected by domestic violence.

In addition, the Avon Foundation and Avon Products Inc. together respond to national and international emergencies, and since 2001 have awarded $17.5 million for women and their families affected by natural disaster or crises

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