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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“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