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Avon announces HCL infrastructure services partnership

Direct to consumer beauty brand Avon has today (21 June) announced that HCL Technologies will serve as the company’s infrastructure services partner.

HCL has been brought in to help Avon overhaul its IT infrastructure services and support the retailer’s move to become a more digitally-thinking business.

Under what it describes internally as its ‘Open Up’ transformation strategy, Avon is looking to invest in technology that adds a more significant digital aspect to what was once a catalogue and doorstep retail operation.

Avon CEO Jan Zijderveld is currently leading a transformation programme at the business, aiming to better use technology to help its sales representatives build their revenues though a more modern retailing approach. In many countries, Avon's representatives can now distribute brochures via WhatsApp or Facebook, with social media now viewed as a key sales channel.

The work with HCL, specifically, is expected to support the improvement in Avon’s service-management activities, including its data centres, network, security, end-user computing services, and its service desk. Essentially, HCL has been tasked with implementing new tools and methods to create a more flexible IT infrastructure at Avon.

Benedetto Conversano, senior vice president, and chief digital and IT officer at Avon, commented: “This is a significant move forward in our ‘Open Up Avon’ strategy, through which we are resetting and digitising the Avon business to fuel future growth.

“We look forward to seeing the positive change that HCL will drive for our business as we identify new ways of working, enhance speed and agility, and inject new capabilities within our digital initiatives.”

Various changes to the Avon ownership structure have been announced in recent months. In March, LG Household & Health Care acquired Avon’s already separate entity North American division, before Brazilian powerhouse and Body Shop parent company Natura announced in May its intention to acquire the assets of the UK-based Avon operation.