Although a fake takeover bid recently led to a spike in Avon [fortune-stock symbol=”AVP”] stock, the longtime cosmetics powerhouse built by millions of local “Avon ladies” has been slowly declining. After years as the top global direct sales company, Avon slipped out of that spot in 2014. The company’s revenue declined 20% last year to $8.85 billion, from a peak of $11.1 billion in 2011, and after a lengthy probe into corruption in its China operations, Avon agreed to pay a $135 million settlement.
So, are we looking at the end of the era in which women purchased beauty products from friends and neighbors who sold door-to-door? Not necessarily. There are a number of young, upstart companies that are trying to succeed using the Avon model—albeit with modern twists such as selling via social media.
“The idea of women sharing something they’re passionate about with other women works better…
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