Razor Wars

Subscription razor offerings tap the booming male grooming market

Unilever announced last month that it would pay $1 billion to acquire Dollar Shave Club, the Millennial-friendly startup that delivers disposable blades to subscribers starting at $3 per month. With the global wet shave market expected to reach $31.41 billion in 2020, a fresh crop of competitors are vying for a piece of the pie.


To entice more young men into its stores, Target is partnering with Harry’s, a subscription-based shaving company that boasts more than two million members. Like other companies adopting a direct-to-consumer model, Harry’s is able to eliminate excess costs and offer shavers a more accessible product that doesn’t sacrifice quality. The company is on its way to becoming a lifestyle brand for Millennial men; in addition to the Target partnership, it boasts a men’s magazine called Five O’Clock, a barbershop in NYC called Harry’s Corner Shop, and a pro-social component.


In reaction to Dollar Shave Club’s success, P&G launched its own subscription service, Gillette Shave Club, to combat growing competition from web-based sales. Shavers can pick from one of three razor subscription plans or simply sign up for a rewards program. Whether they choose a subscription or just rewards, every member receives free products, exclusive content, grooming tips, and chances to win major league sports and entertainment tickets. P&G seems to be betting on the future of subscriptions; it launched a similar service for laundry detergent, Tide Wash Club, last month.


Founded by 24-year-old Sidharth Oberoi, startup LetsShave is going after the $600 million male grooming market of India. The razor and grooming product aggregator partnered with industry pioneer Dorco, which has been manufacturing blades since 1955, to introduce the world’s first six-blade razor with trimmer Pace 6 Plus and Place XL Pro. Though the company is targeting men, it also offers products for women (unfortunately in a stereotypical pink hue), including a six-blade body razor for women. Costs start at the low price of just 4.06 Indian rupees per shave—roughly six cents U.S.