Men’s grooming trends shave off profits from razor industry

Global Business

Beards are back! And that may impact the men’s grooming industry.

CGTN’s John Terrett reports.

I know this because the U.S. household products giant Procter and Gamble recently announced a $5 billion loss in part because it’s selling fewer of its Gillet razors.

So, I went to see Professor Russ Winer of the Stern School of Business at New York University – he thinks there’s more to P&G’s problems than that.

“You’ve got competition from the internet such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s … we’ve seen these kinds of trends over many many years hurt other kinds of industries … think hats for example … once upon a time most men wore stylish hats … now its baseball caps”


Husband and wife team, Kim and John Scala know a thing or two about beards – they’ve been running the New York Shaving Company in Manhattan for twelve years.

They have two establishments that look like traditional Victorian tonsorial parlors – one in Midtown Manhattan and one in an area of the City known as NOLITA or North of Little Italy.

John looks after the customers – Kim’s in charge of everything else.


John said wearing a beard for many men is more like a way of life!

“It requires a lot more maintenance than just shaving it off … so that’s definitely one of the reasons why were continuing to grow our business”


While I was in the store Tommy Dyer stopped by for a trim from John, just in time for the freezing New York winter.

While Tommy was under the hot towels … I wondered why he prefers a beard?

“I think I’m too lazy to shave”, he said, but “after a while a beard just grows on you” – simple as that!


With John worked on Tommy – Kim showed me a staggering range of products – all made locally in nearby New Jersey – that care for a man’s beard – from pre-shave oil, to beard wash and creams for the skin underneath the top lip.

“A few years ago, maybe ten years ago, guys had to shave everyday for work, be clean shaven, whereas more companies now are letting guys keep their beards and they don’t have to be clean shaven so a lot of guys are growing their beards”


Procter and Gamble have seen falling sales at Gillet, its Boston based razor division, for a while now.

Professor Winer told me the firm’s recent advertising campaign in the “me too” era calling for men to be less macho and respectful of women caused some men to take umbrage at the portrayal.

“Can Gillet actually change people’s habits? I don’t think so I think they have to just pay more attention to the other factors that are hurting them to be honest – they have to figure how to compete with the internet brands they have to figure out how to compete with private labels”


Meanwhile, back at the New York Shaving Company, Tommy is all set for winter with a nice warm beard, professionally trimmed and styled.

“I felt it all prickly and itchy on the neck so now that’s gone away – feel great about that – so now – and it just looks sharper, which is what I was hoping for”

There’s one man who want be buying any razor blades until at least next spring, sorry P&G!

Pam Danziger discusses the men’s beauty market

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Founder of Unity Marketing, Pam Danziger, about the men’s health, beauty and grooming industry.