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.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews