Schick owner buys DTC razor upstart Harry’s for $1.4bn
Edgewell Personal Care, makers of Schick and Wilkinson Sword shaving products, has acquired direct-to-consumer razor company Harry’s for $1.4bn.
- Edgewell aims to leverage Harry’s DTC customer loyalty to launch new products while expanding retail distribution globally
- Intent is to become ‘a next generation consumer products platform’
- Harry’s has leveraged DTC foundation to create disruptive presence within retail, including at Walmart, Target and Boots
- Edgewell mulling divesting feminine and infant care businesses, including Playtex and Carefree, to focus on wet shave, sun protection and skincare businesses
Edgewell is betting big on its ability to apply an integrated DTC and retail approach across a global omnichannel platform. It also thinks Harry's approach and loyal customers can help it launch new products as it "aims to win" within its core business. That means overtaking category leaders like Gillette and eating into P&G's share.
Edgewell's investor presentation sells the sizzle with some strong figures. Harry's customers are loyal, repeat their subscriptions and open their emails at rates most publishers would kill for. They also recommend the brand to friends and create pull-through for store launches, which has disrupted retail incumbents. On an earnings call CFO Rod Little suggested Harry's launch into Walmart and Target has helped drive category growth within the U.S. men's razors and blades market by 4%.
The company hopes to repeat that model, blending DTC and retail backed by better customer insight, performance marketing and data analytics across its core sectors. It will be interesting to see if Edgewell can deliver the goods as it attempts to evolve beyond what it calls 'legacy CPG', and whether Harry's customers react as positively to its new owners.
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