Timeline: A look at Avon through the years

AP News
Posted: Apr 09, 2012 1:56 PM
Timeline: A look at Avon through the years

Avon Products Inc. on Monday tapped Sheri McCoy to replace CEO Andrea Jung later this month. McCoy takes the reins of an iconic but struggling company, which became a fixture in households across the country as legions of "Avon ladies" went door to door selling makeup.

Here's a look at the iconic cosmetics company since it was founded 126 years ago:

1886 _ Traveling book salesman David McConnell starts the California Perfume Company after realizing women are far more interested in his perfume samples. He recruits his first female sales representative, a 50-year-old wife and mother of two named P.F.E. Albee.

1895 _ The company opens a manufacturing headquarters in Suffern, N.Y. Two years later, the company will expand the facility to include a laboratory.

1896 _ The company issues its first brochure.

1902 _ The California Perfume Company has 10,000 sales representatives.

1905 _ Outlook magazine, which offers advice and company news, is introduced for representatives.

1906 _ The company's first ads appear in Good Housekeeping magazine

1914 _ Operations begin in Montreal, marking the company's first international expansion

1916 _ The California Perfume Company incorporates in New York state.

1928 _The Avon name is used for the first time on products, including a vanity set, talc and toothbrush cleanser. The name is a reference to the river that runs through Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of McConnell's favorite playwright, William Shakespeare.

1929 _ The Avon logo, introduced on a cosmetics line, includes a sketch of the cottage of Shakespeare's wife.

1946 _ Avon goes public with over-the-counter stock.

1953 _ Avon's first TV advertising is launched.

1961 _ Avon launches Skin-So-Soft, which will become one of its most recognizable brands.

1964 _ Avon Products Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "AVP."

1971 _ The company starts selling jewelry.

1973 _ The company develops a computer program to store ingredient formulations.

1979 _ Avon's purchase of Tiffany & Co. kicks off an acquisition spree that runs through the 1980s. The company expands into medical equipment, home health-care services, specialty chemicals and retirement and nursing homes. Each of those entities is sold off by 1994 as the company focuses on its core business.

1990 _ Avon enters China as a direct seller, moving to a retail model in 1998 when the government bans direct selling. In 2006, Avon resumes direct selling when the Chinese government lifts the ban.

1999 _ Avon names Andrea Jung as its first female CEO.

2012 _ Avon names its second female CEO, Sheri McCoy, to succeed Jung.

Source: Avon Products Inc.