Resurgence in Home Sales an Increasing Competitor for Retailers
Hurst, Contributing Editor, RetailWire
Anne Gill, executive
director of Avon UK, leads her team by example. She not only manages a
business with thousands of representatives but wears the products proudly.
During an interview with The Times of
London, readers are assured that Ms. Gill’s twenty years at Avon UK included
considerable time walking the walk, selling door-to-door as her colleagues
and subordinates do.
We are also
told that, despite the fact that "the beauty industry is by no means an
obvious bedfellow of traditional feminism,” Ms. Gill firmly emphasizes
"the importance of female empowerment to Avon."
"We were giving
women the opportunity for financial independence before they got the vote,"
she said, simultaneously offering flexible working hours alongside that
and the opportunity to control earnings, to a certain extent, may account
for an increase in representatives and sales. Ms. Gill believes many graduates
seeking employment appreciate the opportunity selling Avon can offer, pointing
to "a big link between beauty and empowerment in the products. By being
able to get people to buy the products, you’re becoming economically empowered
and independent, so I think there’s an intrinsic link between the two.
In tough times, I think women still want to look good." She also noted,
"We’re seeing a lot of new customers trading down from the Clarins and
the Cliniques, because they recognize that they can get products for a
lot less money."
can recruit new representatives and become team managers relatively easily,
increasing their earning potential. The company’s online activities have
grown but "the vast majority of its products are sold by traditional representatives
knocking on doors."
Berry, director of the Direct Sales Association (DSA), predicting that
£2.2 billion may be made through direct sales in the U.K. this year and
almost half a million people out there selling, 2010 may be a good time
for retailers to re-examine all the forms of competition they face.
Questions: What are the advantages and disadvantages of door-to-door
selling in the current marketplace? What’s the likelihood that door-to-door
selling will increase?