Avon Looks to Ailing Economy for Growth

By Leela de Kretser,  Newser User
Posted Oct 15, 2008 2:30 PM CDT
A customer exits an Avon store in New York. The company is hoping to increase its sales during the downturn.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Avon's cosmetic-toting army is growing as troubled economic times make door-knocking more attractive to women struggling to make ends meet, reports the Wall Street Journal.  Incentives including price cuts, gas vouchers, and advice from celebrity financier Suze Orman, helped attract 5% more sales reps in the second quarter of this year, after years of thinning ranks.

Online shopping and fewer women at home to answer the door have squeezed Avon's profits over the years, sending most of the company's business outside the US. But execs are betting on a boost from the downturn, with a brand they hope is synonymous with value. But, warns one analyst: "New reps might be disappointed when they find they're not the only ones in difficult economic circumstances—their customers are, too."