European newcomer Shavenu is now offering shaving blade subscriptions to scruffy Brits, Canadians, and Deutschlanders using the DollarShaveClub.com model that set the shaving world alight last month.
For £1 per month, a five-pack of two-blade cartridges is sent to your home every month, with a handle in the first package. Unfortunately, this competitive price does not include shipping cost. If you have higher standards, cartridges with three and five blades are available as well for £5 and £8 per month, respectively. For these models, shipping is included.
Shavenu's founder Marc Uthay hated to wait in line at the supermarket in order to buy new Gillette cartridges he lacked at home. He faced the dilemma of losing some precious time or keeping his stubble for the day - something he would have liked to avoid. Then he came up with the idea of Shavenu.
Subscriptions are now available in Germany, the UK and Canada. But Shavenu has plans to scale its business up rapidly and sell in other countries. "The market is huge, nearly every man in the world needs a razor," Uthay says.
Gillette and Wilkinson are the overwhelmingly dominant players in the shaving industry when it comes to high-end wet shaving products, as opposed to electric shaving products and Bic disposable razors. Evidence of the importance of Gillette lies in its buyout by Procter & Gamble for a whopping price of $57 billion in 2005.
"We can't compete with Gillette with a $1 billion marketing campaign," Uthay says. "People don't know there are alternatives. I want to say: ‘Hey, we have the same products - or even better products - but cheaper,'" he continues. Shavenu's prices stack up well against Gillette prices. On Amazon, 12 Gillette Mach3 cartridges cost $24.99, 8 Wilkinson Quattro cartridges cost $14.74. So that means $2.08 per cartridge for Gillette, $1.84 for Wilkinson, and $1.25 for Shavenu. And I am not even considering the fancier Gillette models with LEDs and vibrators.
The company is based in Germany and has not raised any funds. They are considering potential investors so that they can expand their product line, with lady shavers for example, and sell in more countries.