NEW YORK -- Beauty company Avon Products Inc. said Thursday that it plans to open its largest research and development center outside the U.S. in Shanghai.
The 40,000 square-foot building will contain six floors and have extra capacity to expand Avon's overall scientific capabilities in China and Asia. It will mostly serve China, but also serve other markets in the Asian Pacific region.
An existing research and development center in Guangzhou focuses on cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Cosmetic research will move to the Shanghai building when it opens, with Guangzhou continuing to look at nutritional supplements.
Individuals that will work at the new facility include those in the areas of product development, safety and quality testing, microbiology, chemical engineering and consumer research.
The building is expected to open later this year.
Avon, whose brands included Skin-So-Soft and Mark along with its namesake cosmetics, also has research and development centers in Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Poland and South Africa.
Last month Avon reported that its fourth-quarter profit rose 16 percent, helped by rapid growth in Latin America.
The company is in the midst of a restructuring that includes cutting jobs and trimming overhead. It has focused on recruiting independent sellers, as well as broadening its assortment of less-expensive products, including products under $5, to drive sales.
Shares of Avon fell 24 cents to $32.67 in midday trading.