10 BEAUTY’S BIG NEWS
AVON BREAKS INTO RETAILING
Byline: Laura Klepacki
Avon broke with 115 years of tradition this year when it unveiled its first-ever retail line — beComing.
In a partnership with J.C. Penney, Avon introduced a six-category beauty collection containing cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, bath and body, aromatherapy and a new segment for mother and baby. Prices range from $7 for nail polish to a $40 skin treatment.
Sears also intended to carry the beComing lineup in lighted fixtures in a store within a store concept. But in an about face the retailer pulled out of cosmetics altogether this fall, even discontinuing its proprietary Circle of Beauty program.
Avon’s chairman and chief executive officer Andrea Jung lured Steve Bock from Sephora to head Avon’s new retail division, with the goal of building it into a global brand.
Jung has said that direct selling accounts for only 9 percent of the U.S. beauty sales and even in a competitive market Avon would be able to slice a share from the much larger retail portion.
Straddling mass and prestige prices, beComing has been dubbed a “mass-tige” brand by Avon marketers. Designed to fill a gap in the market between higher-end drugstore lines like Revlon and L’Oreal and modest-priced department store brands like Clinique, beComing is positioned to attract a younger, more affluent mall-driven consumer to Avon.
Jeffrey Askenas, divisional merchandise manager at J.C. Penney, said the strongest sellers in the line so far include cosmetics, skin care and fragrance. The retailer started beComing in 75 doors and will expand it to another 20 by yearend.