It is the fourteenth-largest beauty company and, with 6.4 million representatives, is the second largest direct-selling enterprise in the world (after Amway). The company’s CEO is Angela Cretu, who was appointed to the position in January 2020.
In May 2019, the Brazilian company Natura & Co announced its intent to acquire Avon; the deal closed in January 2020. Following the merger, existing Natura shareholders held 76% of the combined company, Natura Holding S.A., with former Avon shareholders owning 24%. At merger completion, Avon became a privately held company, common stock was removed from the NYSE trading
Avon’s founder, David H. McConnell, initially sold books as a door-to-door salesman to New York homes. In September 1886, he decided to sell perfumes rather than books. He started the new business in a small office at 126 Chambers Street, Manhattan, New York. McConnell changed the company name in 1892. His business partner suggested calling it the “California Perfume Company.” His business partner was living in California at the time and suggested the name because of the abundance of flowers in California.
In May 1894, Alexander D. Henderson joined the company, became vice-president and treasurer, and helped shape its policies and assist in its growth. In 1897 they built a laboratory in Suffern, New York. On May 3, 1909, the California Perfume Company corporate office moved to 31 Park Place, New York. On June 16, 1909, McConnell and Henderson signed an agreement of Incorporation for the California Perfume Company in the state of New Jersey. On January 28, 1916, the California Perfume Company was incorporated in the state of New York. McConnell, Henderson, and William Scheele were listed as company officials. On October 6, 1939, the California Perfume Company changed its name to Avon Products Inc.
The “California Perfume Company, Inc.” of New York filed its first trademark application for Avon on June 3, 1932, with the USPTO. Part of the description for goods and services provided to the USPTO included “perfumes, toilet waters, powder and rouge compacts, lipsticks“, and other toiletry products. First use and commercial use for Avon by the California Perfume Company was on September 1, 1929. Registration was granted on August 30, 1932
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