Avon loses top spot as leading global direct sales company

Avon is no longer the top global direct sales company as its market share has been exceeded for the first time since 2004 by rival brand Amway. 

US-based beauty and skincare direct seller Amway gained a higher market share in global direct sales during 2014 at 9.1 percent, beating Avon’s market share which stood at 8.6%, according to Euromonitor data. 

Avon clung to its title as global leader in 2013, narrowly beating Amway with a market share of 9.2 percent compared to Amway’s share of 9.1 percent. 

Avon’s market share in global direct sales has steadily declined from a peak of 11.6% in 2010 while rival firms Amway, Herbalife and Mary Kay have gained market share.

In terms of US sales, Avon’s market share slumped to 4.3% in 2014 from a peak of 10.2% in 2007. Mary Kay, founded in Texas in 1963, became the leading direct seller in the US in 2013 and in 2014, gaining an 8.4% share.

Brazil is now Avon’s largest market, accounting for 50% of Avon’s annual revenues. 

Avon’s market-share loss has been accompanied by a slide in its share price, which plunged to a 20-year low in January, before reports of buyout talks with private-equity firm TPG erased some of the losses. 

Avon, which reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, saw its revenue decline 20% to $8.85 billion in 2014 from a peak of $11.1 billion in 2011. The company has reported three straight annual losses, and has cut costs by $400 million to offset declining sales.