Avon announces US mass exodus, spares Rye office

Avon Products, a company that has been based in New York for the past 130 years, has decided to cut 2,500 jobs and close almost all of its locations in the United States. Avon’s office in the city of Rye, however, was one of only two domestic locations that have been spared.

The company announced in a press release on March 14 that it’s officially closing its 777 Third Ave. headquarters in Manhattan, along with most of its other North American locations, and moving its operational headquarters to the United Kingdom as part of a three-year transformation plan in the face of consistently fledgling sales.

In addition to Avon’s 14.8- acre property at 601 Midland Ave. in Rye, which has a market value of $31 million, the other location being preserved by the corporation is a research and development facility in nearby Suffern, New York.

The beauty supply icon, perhaps most well known for its frequent use of door-to-door salespeople known commonly as “Avon ladies,” has suffered from declining sales for four years in a row, particularly among American customers.

In addition to the waning appeal and practicality of door-to-door selling, Avon also faces stiff competition from newer cosmetics companies such as Ulta Beauty and Sephora, as well as drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS, which have expanded their beauty product selections in recent years.

The company has announced that it hopes its closures in the U.S. and the job cuts will allow them to save $70 million by the beginning of 2017.

Despite these massive changes in operations, Radina Russell, a representative for Avon, has indicated that the company has no intention of selling the Rye office any time soon. The Midland Avenue property is owned by the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.
“As we transition out of our New York City office, we look forward to bringing more associates to our great facilities in Rye and Suffern, as well as locations outside of the U.S.,” Russell told the Review.

The company has also announced that they are not seeking corporate tax inversion, which would involve becoming a non-U.S. corporation and avoiding U.S. taxes, and therefore will continue to be legally incorporated in New York and trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “AVP.”

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