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Edgewell's Michael Law: Omnichannel solutions imperative in shaving market


Michael Law, senior director, customer strategy and planning at Edgewell Personal Care, tells DSN how retailers can compete with the growth of online shave clubs.

DSN: What are the biggest challenges your company faces in the shaving marketplace, and how are you handling them?

Michael Law: The biggest challenge facing traditional retailers is the growth of online shave clubs. The two primary reasons these clubs resonate with some shoppers are convenience and value. Edgewell Personal Care is working with retailers to enhance their ability to compete on both fronts. Retailers need to have an omnichannel solution, so shoppers can buy what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

Many retailers are moving rapidly to meet this challenge by integrating improved fulfillment and pickup options. We know the vast majority of transactions will still occur in a brick-and-mortar setting, so we’re working with retailers to help them make their categories more convenient to shop. If you’re getting poor conversion, maybe your old way of merchandising is tired and needs a new approach. EPC has disruptive shopper-based merchandising solutions that will better engage shoppers and help drive conversion.

DSN: How should retailers merchandise the category for greatest return?

Law: There’s an old adage, "If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten." Merchandising and shopper experience haven’t changed in years. The irony about the growth of online shave clubs is that traditional retailers offer equivalent or better value in their stores, but just aren’t overt about calling it out. Shave clubs are actually a lot more expensive for consumers, if they replace their blade every week as they instructed. Why do they recommend using one blade per week or 52 per year, when the average guy uses only eight to 12 cartridges a year? Consumers can buy a premium shave like Schick Hydro 5 with 12 cartridges for about $75 less than the annual cost of a monthly premium shave club plan.

DSN: What's on your new product "hot list?"

Law: Schick recently upgraded the Hydro cartridge. It’s the only product on the market with a hydrating gel reservoir that provides skin hydration for up to an hour after shaving. This technology provides 40% less friction than a lubrication strip (used on most other razors). Schick Hydro, in fact, is the only technology delivering growth in the United States, according to Nielsen data.

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