Avon Trims North America Business in Latest Turnaround Effort

In the latest phase of its turnaround efforts, direct selling giant Avon has announced plans to downsize its corporate organization and North America business.

On Monday the company stated it will cut 600 positions as a part of its initiative to save $400 million by 2016. The restructuring will result in up to $50 million in pretax charges, largely in the second quarter.

Avon North America sales dropped 17 percent in 2013. The company expects its latest efforts to result in annualized savings of $50 million to $55 million.

CEO Sheri McCoy is moving to stabilize Avon’s business by pulling out of unproductive markets, reducing spending and cutting jobs. Last year Avon U.S. divested its jewelry unit, Silpada Designs, to focus on its core business in the region.

In other company news, Avon’s board of directors has announced that former Warnaco Group President and CEO Helen McCluskey will join the company’s board in July. McCluskey also brings merchandising expertise from brands like Liz Claiborne, Sara Lee and Playtex Apparel.

“Helen has a valuable blend of branding, marketing and international experience,” said Doug Conant, Chairman of Avon’s Board of Directors. “Having led a public company previously, she brings a wealth of knowledge to Avon’s board, and we are excited to welcome her.”


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