Avon, Unilever Plan Widespread Job Cuts

Beauty and consumer brands companies Avon and Unilever both recently announced widespread job cuts as the industry continues to suffer during the economic downturn.

Avon (NYSE:AVP), the world's largest door-to-door cosmetics seller, plans to slash 650 jobs as part of its plan to save $400 million in costs by 2016. The company expects to record total charges of about $35 million to $45 million, primarily stemming from employee-related costs.

The job cuts are planned for 2014, although there's no word yet on when employees will start receiving layoff notices. Further cost-cutting moves include a company review of operations in smaller, underperforming markets to be restructured or closed. Avon also spunoff its Silpada jewelry unit in July to raise funds for a turnaround. As of December, Avon has about 39,100 employees.

Fellow beauty-product company Unilever (NYSE:UL) also plans to whittle down its workforce by cutting over 2,000 positions. Unilever, the maker of Vaseline, Suave, Degree and Dove, among others, announced the cuts during a recent investors' meeting, where it also revealed plans to downsize its product portfolio by 30 percent. Furthermore, the company said it wants to shift its focus to margins rather than sales growth alone, improve its supply chain, and make various processes more efficient.

For more see:
-This FierceCMO article
-Thie Reuters article
-This Bloomberg article

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