Today on the 8th of April, 2013, Avon cosmetics ceased trading in Ireland. They say that its part of cost cutting measures to insure the growth and sustainability of the firm. Avon founder David H. McConnell would be turning in his grave, as he himself, although born in the states, was son of and Irish mother & father. He was one of the first to help women establish themselves as workers when he started the California Perfume Company in 1886 which later became known as Avon 1932.
In Ireland Avon had roughly 9000 reps across the country who were known as ‘Avon Ladies’ (I was even an Avon Lady for a period of time!). And contrary to popular belief many people, earned greatly from this position. For many people, women especially, this put food on the table, clothes on their families back, paid for their kids through school & in some cases was the only source of income. Many Buisness Developers had set up thriving businesses to distribute to their vast teams, and in some cases….. this job was the only time they could socialize, and they often became well known faces & pillars of support for women in their community, & were also keen fundraisers for Breast cancer charities & more throughout the country.
In 2010 Avon recorded annual sales of $10.8 billion worldwide, all of which could not have been possible without hard work women & few ‘good men’, and unfortunately it seems greed has won out over what the company stands for in their most recent cost cutting attempt to ensure bigger growth, Avon is seeking global savings of $400m (€307m) between now and 2016. A quote today from the firms CEO Sheri McCoy said “We continue to work aggressively toward turning around the business,” & “The steps outlined today take us closer to our cost-savings goal. At the same time, we remain focused on continuing to streamline the business and driving top-line growth.”
My thoughts are with all the ladies a few good men that lost their jobs today & hope that the Irish Avon family stay strong for each other over the coming months.