The direct-selling business has evolved into a robust, technology-led distribution channel. A number of players — Mary Kay Inc., Rodan & Fields and Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. among them — have replaced the doorbell with e-mail, and the glossy brochure with an iPad app.
Last month, Mary Kay launched one of its most popular online tools, Virtual Makeover, for mobile devices ranging from the iPad to Android smartphones and tablets, said Patricia Wanderley, vice president of corporate digital marketing. Also, in March the company introduced an app called Show and Sell, designed to provide visual selling tools at parties hosted by its sales consultants, said Jamie Schott, Mary Kay’s director of digital marketing. These initiatives are now rolling out globally.
The skin care range Rodan & Fields has been steadily building a direct-selling network in the U.S. since leaving the department store channel in 2008. Thousands of Rodan & Fields’ 20,000 representatives are armed with iPads and nearly 100 percent of its orders are placed online, said a company spokeswoman. She added that the company has an incentive program where reps can earn iPads. With products such as the 60-day regimen Anti-Age Amp MD, priced at $200, Rodan & Fields plays in the premium tier, along with Nu Skin, a company that many on Wall Street point to as the bellwether of beauty direct selling with its luxury price points and multilevel selling model. Nu Skin’s flagship skin care range, AgeLoc, sells for between $50 to $450 for a monthly regimen. The spoils of those double- and triple-digit price points help attracted and retain representatives.
Several Wall Street analysts contend that Avon’s low price points and heavy-handed promotions make its business model more labor-intensive for its representatives. As Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Mark Astrachan pointed out, “You want Avon to be a business where you can earn a living, not supplement a living. It takes an awful lot of lipstick [sales] to equal a $200 skin cream.” Avon does offer reps online tools and an iPhone app.
Nu Skin said it funnels 43 percent of its sales back to its representatives through incentive programs, and Rodan & Fields distributes more than 30 percent of revenue to its sales force, according to industry sources. A source with knowledge of Avon’s business said the company’s U.S. business allotted roughly 20 percent of sales to its representatives.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
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