Avon: Door to door cosmetics brand to open physical shops across the UK for the first time

A cosmetics brand famous for door to door sales is going to open physical shops.

Avon is looking to change its direction and add physical stores to its operations. The brand, associated with the catchy TV slogan "Ding dong, Avon calling!", already has 63 shops in Turkey and is also looking to open outlets in Brazil and South Africa.

For years, the beauty giant relied on a large team of door-to-door sales reps who would speak to customers directly and show off their products. That operation ground to a halt during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Avon being forced to move much of its business online.

The 137-year-old retailer is looking for ways follow women "wherever they spend their time", said global chief executive Angela Cretu. She told the BBC that the expansion was an "exciting new chapter" and outlets would be based in "neighbourhood communities" rather than on traditional high streets.

Ms Cretu described the shops as "mini beauty boutiques" that would showcase a selection from Avon’s range. The number of new shops and locations have yet to be confirmed.

Avon was established in the USA in 1884, but moved its headquarters to the UK in 2016. The much-quoted "Ding dong, Avon calling!" advert since 1967.

Retail analyst Natalie Berg told the BBC that the brand was "a little dated" but sees the move to open new stores as a positive venture. She said: “You can't overestimate the power of human touch and the community you get in a physical store environment,” Ms Berg added.

Ms Cretu said the pilot in Turkey has proved that, far from stealing business from local reps, the stores have boosted their businesses.

“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,” she added.

Ms Cretu added that the group is providing training to reps to be able to launch and run the retail franchises and provide them with the technology needed to run the businesses. “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.”