Avon unveils retail brand

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Avon Products, New York, took the wraps off its retail line at a meeting with analysts Sept. 27. The new line, Becoming, will launch in the second quarter of 2001 at ``Avon Center'' in-store shops within Sears, Roebuck & Co., and J.C. Penney Co. stores. The Becoming line was designed to avoid cannibalizing the core Avon brand, which will continue to be the sold by ``Avon ladies'' worldwide, said Andrea Jung, Avon president-CEO. The line will include a full range of beauty products targeted at women ages 25 to 35 with average annual household incomes of $50,000, younger and more affluent than the target audience of Avon's core direct-selling brand. Products will be priced higher than Avon's core brand or mass-market brands and cheaper than prestige brands sold in department stores. For example, a lipstick will retail for $7.50, compared to $2.99 for Avon's core brand, $6 for a mass product and $14 for prestige brands. The product line will include 400 items displayed along several sub-brands such as Becoming Radiant (skincare and makeup) Becoming Dazzling (jewelry and fragrance), Becoming Centered (aromatherapy), Becoming Mom (pregnancy and baby toiletries) and Becoming Active (nutritional supplements). The launch will be backed by an ad campaign from J. Walter Thompson USA, including TV and print ads tagged ``Becoming you.'' Avon officials said the company will spend $10 million to $15 million to set up the Avon Centers, including fixtures and marketing, and the company expects ad spending will equal 10% to 15% of sales annually through 2005. Ms. Jung said the retailers will contribute additional funds to the launch, including advertising and promotion spending.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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