Is the razor losing its edge?

Beards are staging a major comeback in the US, and razor sales are the victim.

Beards are trending big time in the US — so much so that razor sales are suffering, according to a March report by French business newspaper Les Échos.

The new grooming preference was visible at the Oscars in March, with Jared Leto and Bradley Cooper both sporting large quantities of facial hair.

At Procter & Gamble, whose Gillette brand dominates the razor market, sales fell by 7.8% in the last three months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. At Schick, the drop in sales is "unprecedented," says CEO Ward Klein.

According to P&G chief financial officer Jon Moeller, the trend can be traced to the Movember prostate cancer campaign, which encourages men to grow moustaches.

But it might be too early to bid adieu to the razor. Men are shaving their faces less, says Moeller, but they are shaving other body parts more — a trend called "manscaping." The result? Gillette has now come out with its BODY razor.

About the Author

Yan Barcelo


Yan Barcelo is a journalist in Montreal.

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