Beards have been “in” again for several years, but razor makers are only now seeing the effect facial hair is having on their bottom lines.
Gillette maker Procter & Gamble is starting to bemoan the rise of the beard, complaining that razor sales in developed countries are falling. Schick’s parent company Energizer is saying the same thing, reporting a 10 percent drop in razor sales over the past year alone.
But your choice to sport a five o’clock shadow to work most days a week isn’t really to blame, according to Bloomberg Business. They blame the drop in razor sales solely on America’s latest counter-cultural, cool-because-they’re-not-cool group: Hipsters.
Though rules about facial hair in the workplace have been easing up for years, most people still shave sometimes, even if it isn’t every day like 10 or 20 years ago. But not Hipsters. They let it all hang out Grizzly Adams-style, and because it’s not cool to have a scraggly steel-wool beard, these flannel kings have somehow made it cool.
Thus, Hipsterism spreads and razors sales fall. If this is true and Hipsters are to blame, then they can literally calculate a financial victory in their fight against the establishment.
But it’s possible that Hipsters aren’t to blame. Maybe razor makers shaved a little too close themselves and have caused their own downfall. MSN Money points out that ridiculous and needless six-blade lotion gel hand-warming massage razors marketed relentlessly by razor makers at high prices might have the still-shavers yearning for simpler days.
Take our pals at Dollar Shave Club, a private label that sells simple, sturdy razors for 4 percent of the U.S. market. As Michael Dubin points out in DSC’s hilarious viral video, “stop paying for shave-tech you don’t need.” His company strategy is easy and available enough: Make ’em laugh, make ’em feel manly, and sell them good quality razors without the bells and whistles. And heck, it worked.
So the only question is this: Do you have a beard? Okay, two questions: How often do you shave?