Pure Beauty

Exclusive: Avon's new CEO on franchise stores, social selling and what it means for reps

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 14-Mar-2024

CEO Kristof Neirynck lifts the lid on phase two of the beauty giant’s transformation plan, which includes social selling, franchise stores and more

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A major change is underway at Avon, with the company’s new CEO Kristof Neirynck understanding that a strong heritage story is not enough to guarantee ever-lasting success in the beauty industry. 

The 137-year-old cosmetic giant, which debuted an expensive global marketing rebrand last year to modernise its identity, is now entering phase two of its transformation plan to grow its market share and attract a new generation of customers. 

Not only will this involve further modernisation of the Natura & Co-owned company’s direct selling model and embracing new social selling opportunities, but ramping up its physical retail access too.

From enhanced drugstore retail partnerships to more Avon representative franchise-run stores around the world, including its first standalone shops, known as ‘kiosks’, in the UK.

All this while trying to stay true to the company’s original brand DNA – supporting the independent sales representatives which have helped Avon become a global icon. 

Avon began opening up more streams of consumer access late last year, launching on online retail giant Amazon and via the high street through UK beauty retailer Superdrug and in 50 of perfumery chain Naima Allscent stores in Italy.

This helps our representatives to know that we are not here to destroy their business

It was a historic moment as it was the first time Avon has sold its products outside of its sales rep or direct selling model, and Neirynck is aware that some representatives may still need convincing about the new omnichannel approach. 

“Avon is such a beautiful brand, but there is a lot of challenge, as we do need to face the fact that the business is in a transformation stage,” explains Neirynck, who took over from former CEO Angela Cretu in January.  

“One challenge is to make sure that we continue to prove to our representatives that everybody will benefit because their initial gut feeling when we said Avon is going to go into Superdrug was, ‘OK, this is a disaster. This is the end of my direct selling business’.

“But now [our] representatives are speaking about how they have gained

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