Picture: 123RF/VICTOR69
Picture: 123RF/VICTOR69

Beauty company Avon says it will recruit 500,000 resellers in SA by 2020 as part of its drive to grow its local business and also promote entrepreneurship.

According to Reuters, Avon launched its global turnaround programme called Open Up Avon in 2018 to reboot direct selling.

The company has also invested in digital platforms with the launch of an e-commerce website and also a mobile app to make it easier for its representatives to sell products.

Mafahle Mareletse, group vice president for Turkey, the Middle East and Africa, said the recruitment drive had already begun and that the company was not far off from reaching its target.

“Anyone can join our network. No qualifications needed. But the big issue is recruiting people that are serious about business,” Mareletse said.

He said the company would use its digital platforms to recruit young people. Avon SA was seeing more people between the ages of 25 and 35 joining its network of representatives, he said.

According to the Direct Selling Association’s latest report, the industry is 79% women, and in the last financial year, they were part of the 1.3-million sales representatives in the industry that earned more than R4bn.

Avon recently launched an online store with direct deliveries to its clients in Gauteng, making it easier for the company’s “beauty entrepreneurs” to earn from digital purchases without carrying the cost of deliveries, it said.

The commercial transformation director at Avon Justine, Nishani Singh, said the plan was to expand this nationally during 2019.

“Direct deliveries has a number of benefits for the beauty entrepreneur. They can now spend less time on making deliveries and more time focusing on their core beauty business and interacting with their customers,” she said.

The direct deliveries service also improves customer experience and frees up the sales representatives from the “agony of having to remember and track all customer orders — these can now be seamlessly managed via My Avon Store”, Singh said.

Avon also introduced a cellphone application to enable its sellers to manage their entire business from their smartphones. Through the app they will be able to share digital brochures with their customers, extend their reach and improve their earning opportunity.

mochikot@businesslive.co.za