Terrible news today out of the competitive world of Men's Grooming: In 2013, more men's toiletry products will be sold than razors and shaving cream. Gillette is getting killed—so much that owner Proctor & Gamble's bottom line has been affected. Unit sales of Schick razors are down 10%. We are looking at 2013 being the first time in history when men's shaving products haven't dominated the men's grooming marketplace. Why?
Well, look at yourself. When was the last time you took a straight razor to that haggard face? High school? Provided you're not working in a bank, police force, or Mormon church, does your boss even care anymore that you look like a Civil War general? We've all morphed into mountain men, for better or worse, and the look is allowed in months that don't traditionally start with "No Shave..."
The vogue for stubble, the relative non-hairiness of Chinese men, growing acceptance of the unshaven look in the workplace and, most importantly, the ever increasing cost of shaving have all been damaging to men’s shaving and Gillette alike. Furthermore, a slow innovation pipeline, with only three major new product launches since 2005, one of which was a collaboration between Gillette Venus and Olay, indicates that Procter & Gamble’s financial issues have affected its R&D activities.
Nonetheless, in 2012, Gillette introduced its first major innovation in two years - the Fusion ProGlide Styler, a 3-in-1 battery-operated razor which serves as both a shaver and styler. This indicates a new era in men’s shaving, with razor manufacturers creating more sophisticated multi-functional products with higher unit prices in an effort to compensate for lower demand and longer repurchasing cycles.
Long live the stubble. Also, I'd like to reiterate what Jezebel points out, which is that: "the relative non-hairiness of Chinese men" is one of the stranger fucking sentences you'll ever read.