The big news today is the sale of Liz Earle to Avon.
Liz Earle described themselves as the biggest independent UK personal care company – a claim that might be disputed by some other companies but was nonetheless a well founded one. They currently develop their products at their site on the Isle of Wight, where I would imagine that they are a significant employer as they employ around 300 people.
Avon are much bigger than a lot of people realise. A few years ago I heard that they accounted for 10% of UK personal care sales by value – an astonishing figure when you consider that their prices are fairly modest and they don’t have a single retail outlet. They are obviously big in America where they are a cultural icon, but are present nearly everywhere else as well. What is their motivation for the purchase? I would imagine that the plan would be to distribute the Liz Earle portfolio via their existing network. That isn’t what the spokesman for Avon is saying – he is suggesting that they are going to start a new network exclusively for Liz Earle. I am not sure why they would do that when they have probably the most effective direct sales organisation in the world already created.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how things develop but it is clear that things won’t be the same for Liz Earle again.
Update: I have done a bit more on Liz Earle here