Move over, Avon; step aside, Mary Kay. An international sales force of women is growing. JAFRA (a combination of the first names of the company's founders -- couple Jan and Frank Day) manufactures high-end cosmetics, skin care products, and fragrances. It markets them internationally through some 555,000 independent beauty consultants spanning about 20 countries. Products include skin cleansers and lotions, mineral makeup, vitamin tablets, home spa sets, and nail polishes, as well as a variety of products for men, teens, and babies. The company, established in 1956 and once owned by Gillette, has been part of German direct sales company Vorwerk & Co. since 2004.
From its headquarters in California, JAFRA operates primarily in the US and Mexico with additional operations in the Dominican Republic, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia, and India. It relies on distributors in North America, Europe, and South America to supply its beauty products to another seven countries.
Direct sales company JAFRA contributes about 19% of Vorwerk's revenue.
During fiscal 2012, JAFRA grew its business across most of its markets. Sales rose some 6% in 2012 vs. 2011, thanks to its business in Mexico and a 3% rise in revenue from its Lux Asia Pacific sales organization. Its strongest gains came from both Thailand and Indonesia. Two more promising regions remain JAFRA Russia, which recorded double-digit revenue growth during the same time frame, and Asia, with its 30% sales increase.
JAFRA has worked in recent years to expand its operations across the US and worldwide. JAFRA's strongest market is Mexico, which delivers the largest portion of the company's revenue. Brazil is another promising market where JAFRA. The country represents the cosmetic industry's third-largest market behind the US and Japan, so it's no wonder that JAFRA is banking on its 190 million citizens for growth. It established an office in the tony city of Sao Paulo and partnered with the Shahra family's Ruchi Soya Industries Limited to sell its products directly to customers in the country. The venture, which operates under the name JAFRA Ruchi Cosmetics India Private Limited, is based in New Delhi and is focused on developing a presence in northern India.
The cosmetics company is also adding men to the mix. JAFRA is working to expand its men's products portfolio by issuing the Legend for Men Adventure trademark to market a line of fragrances for men.
The company has been extending the reach of its operational footprint, as well. JAFRA maintains a 23-acre manufacturing complex in Mexico, which serves as its lead production base. The state-of-the-art plant cost $30 million to build in 2010 and has the capability to produce 200 million units a year.