Avon to open physical shops in the UK for the first time

Avon shop in Turkey
Avon shop in Turkey

The cosmetics brand famous for its doorstep slogan "Ding dong, Avon calling!" is about to open physical stores in the UK for the first time.

Women wanted to "touch and experience" the products they were buying, Avon said.

For many years the global beauty giant relied on an army of door-to-door sales reps, who could demonstrate their wares first-hand.

But recently the Covid pandemic accelerated a shift to online sales.

Now, in a change of direction, the 137-year-old retailer is adding physical stores to its arsenal of sales tactics.

As well as the UK, it will launch outlets in Brazil and South Africa. It already has 63 stores in Turkey.

The company is looking for ways to follow women "wherever they spend their time", said global chief executive Angela Cretu, describing the move as an "exciting new chapter".

The UK stores, expected to open over the next two months, would be based in "neighbourhood communities" rather than on traditional High Streets, Ms Cretu said, and would be "mini beauty boutiques" showcasing a selection from Avon's range.

The company is also expanding its presence in Superdrug stores, following a tie-up in September which sees Avon products sold in selected branches of the pharmacy chain.

Avon's experience in Turkey suggests that physical stores could boost business for local door-to-door sales reps, who would be offered training to run the new outlets as franchises, Ms Cretu said.

"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," said Ms Cretu.