Source: 10/18/2007

Avon Branches out with Retail Stores

Hannelore Burr loves Avon products, especially the makeup and bath items.

But unlike other customers, Burr doesn't order from a local Avon representative and then wait weeks for her products to arrive. She shops at an Avon store in the Mall at Wellington Green on Forest Hill Boulevard in Palm Beach County.

"It's more personal when you go to the store," said Burr, who lives in Greenacres. "But you pay for the convenience."

New York-based Avon Products Inc., which celebrated its 120th anniversary last year, has come a long way since its founder, David McConnell, hired the first "Avon lady" to sell his products directly to the public.

The company's 5 million independent sales representatives worldwide are still selling in people's homes and offices, but the company has added other channels to strengthen its competitive position. Customers can purchase their favorite Skin-So-Soft or Anew products via the Internet, from a mall kiosk or at a bricks-and-mortar store. Avon has 13 kiosks and stores in South Florida, including the Wellington site and a store that opened recently in Fort Lauderdale.

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