Avon to open first high street stores in beauty giant’s 137-year history – but retailer stays tight-lipped about their locations

  •  Avon will open a ‘handful’ of ‘mini beauty boutiques’ within the next two months

Avon is set to open high streets stores in Britain for the first time in its 137-year history after the beauty giant ‘successfully’ launched it products in Superdrug stores across the country.

The retailer is opening an initial tranche of beauty outlets in the UK within the next two months that it aims be ‘mini beauty boutiques’. But the firm has remained tight-lipped about the number of stores it plans to launch and their locations.

A spokesperson has confirmed that Avon will be opening a ‘handful’ of representative-run franchise stores ‘within the next couple of months’ but told MailOnline ‘discussions with the chain are ongoing’.

The brick-and-mortar stores will feature around 150 products, with the full range still only available through Avon representatives. 

The high street expansion is part of the beauty giant’s UK-wide rollout which began in September when it expanded into the beauty and pharmacy.

Avon is set to open high streets stores in Britain for the first time in its 137-year history. The stores, which will be ‘mini beauty boutiques’. Pictured is one of its franchise stores in Turkey

The launch is starting with a handful of UK retail stores initially and said that rather than targeting traditional high streets, they would be based in ‘neighbourhood communities’. 

‘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,’ Angela Cretu, global chief executive of Avon International, said.

‘We are on the cusp of new frontiers for Avon. It’s an exciting new chapter.’

She said the beauty 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 be as inclusive as possible,’ she 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.’ 

Ms Cretu said the expansion into physical stores was being made in response to the fact that the majority – 80 per cent – of beauty purchases are made through retail.

‘Women like to touch and experience the product and have that joy of seeing all the colours available,’ she said.

But she added it also reflects the changes seen among its customer base since Avon was launched 137 years ago.

Ms Cretu added: ‘Women stayed at home in the past, but now they are going out to work and we have to follow them wherever they spend their time and make the service as convenient as possible.’

The UK store plans are part of a wider global move into physical retailing, with the firm also launching representative-run franchise retail stores in key international markets including Brazil and South Africa. 

Avon first launched the franchise store model in Turkey almost three years ago, where it now has 63 outlets and has reportedly seen sales growth double in the region. 

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

The brick-and-mortar stores will feature around 150 products, with the full range still only available through Avon representatives

Avon is also rolling out its beauty range further across the Superdrug chain following its move in September to tie up with the beauty and pharmacy chain, which has seen Avon products sold in UK high street shops for the first time.

Avon, which initially launched across 100 Superdrug stores and the retailer’s website, will expand products across hundreds more stores from November 27, with plans in the pipeline to extend throughout the entire Superdrug chain.

The group’s foray into bricks and mortar retailing marks a major shift in its business model and the latest step to grow the number of ways for shoppers to buy its products.

Avon was founded in 1886 and started out selling products direct into the home through a network of door-to-door representatives, offering women a way to earn independent income.

It still has an army of Avon reps selling door to door but has increasingly shifted towards online and social media in recent years and through the pandemic.

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