A Battle for Your Face: Online Startups Take On Procter & Gamble's Gillette
Two such companies are Dollar Shave Club and Harry's. Dollar Shave Club offers monthly subscriptions for shaving products, ranging from $1 to $9 a month. Its most popular plan is $6 a month. In October, the company raised $12 million in private-equity funding. At the time, it had 330,000 subscribers.
The company was started in 2012 and became a sensation on Google's (GOOG) YouTube with videos of CEO Michael Durbin doing wacky things such as dancing with a bear and with its motto, "Our blades are f--- great."
Harry's was started in March of last year by Jeffrey Reider, who was also a co-founder of Warby Parker, an eyeglass retailer founded in 2010. In January, Harry's bought a factory in Germany to increase its production capacity.
In its first nine months, Harry's sold more than 100,000 shaving kits, which consist of a razor, shaving cream and a set of blades. Harry's has a $10 Truman razor and a $20 Winston. The company sells cartridges for $1.88 each.Harry's also offers a subscription model. The auto refill offer costs $31 for every two months. Gillette is working on its own subscription models. Customers can customize subscriptions for Gillette products on Amazon (AMZN), Soap.com (an Amazon company), drugstore.com and Target (TGT). Meanwhile, Gillette is introducing a higher cost razor called ProGlide FlexBall, which is designed to shave more precisely. The razor will cost $11.49 to $12.59.
Shares of P&G closed Thursday at $81.15. The stock is about flat during the past year, compared with 20% rise for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
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