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Avon calling… on the U.K.

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TEXT OF STORY

Lisa Napoli: Cosmetic giant Avon’s hoping for stronger overseas sales too. It reports quarterly earnings tomorrow.
Bob Moon reports the company’s got some ideas on how to make up sales in a sagging economy.


Sound of doorbell, then voice: Avon calling!

Bob Moon: In the face of the slowing U.S. economy, Avon is calling on Britain in a bid to boost its bottom line. For the first time in almost 30 years, it’s launching a recruitment drive to build its force of door-to-door sales reps across the United Kingdom. The New York-based company is hoping to capitalize on its own more youthful image makeover featuring Reese Witherspoon.

Voice of ad announcer: Order exclusively from your Avon representative or online and say:

Voice of Reese Witherspoon: Hello tomorrow!

Focusing on business abroad is a strategy that makes sense, given the lopsided value of the U.S. dollar these days. Not that the economic picture is that much brighter in the U.K., but the discounted greenback might actually help Avon’s appeal in harder times. The head of the company’s U.K. operations says sales traditionally rise at times like these, because customers who put off more expensive purchases still treat themselves to cosmetics.

I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.

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