THE RUSSIA HOUSE: Avon is starting work on a new 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant near Narofominsk in the Moscow region. Russia is one of Avon’s fastest growing markets, according to Susan Kropf, Avon’s president and chief operating officer. Avon’s sales in the region grew from $22 million in 1999 to $142 million in 2002. Sales are expected to rise to $500 million by 2007, according to the company. The $40 million plant, slated to open in mid-2004, will employ some 800 and will produce 185 million units of cosmetics, including creams, lotions, mascara, roll-on deodorants and fragrances annually.
CHINA EXPANSION: Shiseido Co. Ltd. announced Thursday a plan to open 5,000 outlets in China as part of a bid to boost sales there to 100 billion yen, or $892.3 million, by 2008, according to wire reports. While the company acknowledged that it may not fully reach that number of targeted openings by 2008 — it does expect China to account for 10 percent of its sales five years from now. Currently, Shiseido’s annual sales in China account for a reported 3 percent of its total revenues, which amounts to about 20 billion yen, or $178.4 million. The Japanese cosmetics giant entered the Chinese market in 1981 and sells its products in about 350 of China’s 1,000 or so department stores.
VICTORIA VOGUE CHANGES: Victoria Vogue, a manufacturer of powder puffs, sponges and other cosmetics accessories, applicators and products, named Susan Pomerantz, president and chief executive officer. Pomerantz, whose grandfather founded the company, previously served on the board of directors. The Bethlehem, Pa.-based company also named Maria Santacoloma, vice president of sales and marketing. After joining the company in 2002, Santacoloma worked as director of marketing. Victoria Vogue, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, also appointed two sales directors, Karla Young and Catherine Bailey.
FIELD TRIP: Makeup artists from the Chanel counter at Macy’s Herald Square will man Industry (212) next week — an apparel and accessories trade show running Monday through Wednesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center — and provide makeovers to attendees in the front of the hall. Four makeup artists will be present at any given time, having rotated in from Macy’s during the show to give complimentary “Pretty Fast” makeovers. Chanel’s holiday collection will be highlighted.
NORTH OF THE BORDER: Sephora.com will enter the Canadian market late next month and fulfill online purchases made there as a result of a deal inked earlier this month between Sephora USA and a Canadian joint venture called Canada Post/Borderfree. Prior to the Sephora agreement, Canada Post and Borderfree — a four-year-old technology services provider — announced in January their own partnership to create a “seamless, hassle-free cross-border shopping experience.” As a result of that deal, Borderfree gives Canadian customers of about 28 merchants and over 100 Web sites a delivered cost in local currency, including duties and taxes, prior to finalization of an order. Items purchased from U.S.-based Web retailers are delivered to a consolidation site in the U.S., prepared for importation, then handed over to Canada Post for delivery to the end consumer. Canada Post/Borderfree estimates that 40 percent of all Canadian online purchases are made on U.S. Web sites. In other Sephora news, customers at the retailer’s Times Square location will be able to get a piece of the Fox series “Paradise Hotel” next Thursday — the night after the show’s season finale — when contestant Dave Kerpen hosts a Paradise-themed party there. While he may or may not share juicy behind-the-scenes gossip, Sephora’s Night of Paradise will keep with the theme of the show by featuring its own Pandora’s Box and teaching guests such “secrets” as how to make a tropical glow last through the winter. Sephora makeup artists will give makeovers and a contest will be held in which two attendees will win tickets to Club Med Paradise Island.