Timeline: A look at Avon through the years

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Associated Press

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 12:01 PM

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.

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