Newly minted Avon president Sheri McCoy made her official debut this week as part of an earnings call and a shareholders’ meeting. She said her immediate agenda includes a global tour through key markets from now through June, including the U.S., Brazil, China, Mexico and Russia.
A friend of mine, a 20-year Avon representative who has earned the prestigious President’s Club honor, hopes she also visits close to home. Getting into the trenches with the representatives can help uncover firsthand the challenges faced and provide an opportunity to understand the direct-sell channel — a different animal than McCoy’s retail heritage. My friend, we’ll call her Elle, actually lives in proximity to McCoy and has seen changes over the past three years that make her business more difficult.
Elle works hard — anyone in town will joke about her “dropping off of books” at every restaurant, health club, dry cleaner and store in town. She has a wealth of frequent customers, and she’s the first to donate baskets of Avon products to causes in town. She’s the mom with the Skin-So-Soft when the bugs invade.
Her smooth sailing has been disrupted by changes in her shipment times and a compression of district managers. While she knows she could benefit from electronic ordering, she sticks to the hand-printed duplicate paperwork. But she’s open to learning the new digital world — with the proper training. Upon attending a product launch event with her, I was surprised just how much the representatives have to lay out, such as buying new items — not to mention the cash bar, which was a surprise to a beauty editor so often feted with free cocktails!
McCoy comes highly regarded and appears to know how much work lies ahead. Learning what it is like as an “Avon person” in the U.S. could probably prove universal in learning challenges faced across the globe. McCoy seems rooted in the real world of Avon consumers, said people who know both of the executives.
During the call earlier this week, McCoy appeared ready for the challenge.
“I am taking a fresh look at every aspect of the business, and stabilizing the business is my first and most urgent objective,” said McCoy, who joined Avon on April 23, after 30 years at Johnson & Johnson. Analysts seem pleased with her attack plan, especially once McCoy understands the peculiarities of the direct-sell channel.
That’s why Avon’s Elle is waiting for Sheri McCoy to call.
People, Places and Things
A few words with Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions for Walgreens. WWDBeautyNews: What’s the next big store opening for Walgreens?
Magnacca: Puerto Rico! It is a great market for us, and now we are bringing a great new store for consumers to experiment with products and actually play with beauty. We will have our expanded nails and fragrances. Fragrance is a huge market in Puerto Rico. WWDBeautyNews: How was NACDS annual?
Magnacca: It is a great meeting for us. We had a great gathering for meeting the retailers, and we kept busy every minute from there on. Our suppliers are excited about all of the moves at Walgreens. We have many opportunities for beauty companies.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye