Avon Is Breaking Tradition, to Sell Perfumes in Stores

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - Avon Products Inc., breaking a 100-year tradition of direct-to-consumer sales, will begin marketing an expensive line of imported fragrances through department stores next year, the company said Wednesday.

The Deneuve line of fragrances, selling for up to $165 an ounce, will be offered to retailers by Parfums Phenix, a wholly owned Avon subsidiary.

Avon said it expects the products to be selling in 200 to 300 stores by spring.

""We want to serve consumer segments we don't reach through direct selling,'' said Hicks Waldron, chairman of Avon, the world's largest manufacturer of cosmetics and toiletries.

He emphasized that the Avon name will not appear on any product sold on the retail market and that Avon's direct selling operations will not include the Deneuve line.

One of the long-term goals of Parfums Phenix is to develop new channels of distribution, he added.

Deneuve, developed in connection with French film star Catherine Deneuve has been produced in France since March, and presently is sold exclusively through direct response in magazines, using ads with scent strips and order forms.

""Women responded so well to the fragrance that we decided to expand our customer base by making Deneuve available in retail stores,'' said Franco Treccani, president of Parfums Phenix.

The new Avon move comes amid a resurgence of the company's beauty aids business after a period of slowdown. …