NEW YORK — Avon will close its Montreal-based manufacturing plant by the first quarter of 2004, shifting those operations to its Springdale, Ohio, and Morton Grove, Ill., sites. The move will result in the loss of 150 jobs.

The consolidation of the North American manufacturing operations will have no impact on its Canadian direct selling business, the company said. Avon Canada employs 950 associates who support 71,000 independent sales dealers.

Susan J. Kropf, Avon’s president and chief operating officer, said the action "will enable Avon to more fully leverage the benefits of a unified supply chain. This will free up significant resources that can be reinvested in business growth."

Tony Ariganello, president of Avon Canada, said Avon remains firmly committed to the Canadian market, which is its eighth largest. "Over the past three years, we have invested nearly $10.4 million (converted from the Canadian dollar at current exchange rates) in distribution, facility improvements, call center modernization and new technology," he said.

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