Harry’s debut at Target attracts majority of customer base
Not too long after Unilever’s blockbuster deal with Dollar Shave Club was announced, another online razor company made its own news. Harry’s inked a deal to sell through Target, complete with an inline presentation and an endcap decked out with a huge Harry’s signature razor.
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Cooper Classic Cars, a showroom in Manhattan’s West Village, was transformed for the launch of Harry’s at Target — complete with coolers filled with razors and blades. John Butcher, Target’s SVP beauty and personal care, was on hand to explain why the chain broadened an already sharp shaving department with an exclusive line. “Harry’s fills a unique niche for us,” Butcher said. “We’re bringing ‘cool’ to shave.”
Harry’s also delivers a subscription business to Target with an offer on target.com. The company believes that introducing Harry’s at Target will grow Target’s digital men’s shave sales, including boosting the number of shoppers using its subscriptions for grooming products.
Currently, the vast number of men’s shaving products are purchased in stores with only about 9% of sales chalked up online. That’s expected to expand to 25% by 2020. Harry’s has more than 2 million customers, and this marks its foray into mass retail. The marriage looks promising since 75% of Harry’s customers have shopped Target in the past year.
All 1,800 Target doors launched Harry’s in August to such success that the endcaps were quickly sold out of the collection, which included razors, blade refills, face wash and skin care, such as a wash and face gel. Prices range from $5.99 to $15.99. Target edited slower-moving items and duplicate SKUs to find the space for Harry’s. “What’s really nice about Harry’s is it complements our existing mix,” Butcher said. “We made it a priority to find the space. We have our powerhouse brands, which are really the foundation of our assortment, and then we have some niche brands that fulfill needs around the changing and shifting needs of males.” According to Target, shaving is the second-largest category within personal care at the chain behind dental hygiene. The company reported data showing that Target has held the No. 2 market share positions for male shave systems in the United States for the last year.
Research done by Target suggests that the male customer has become more discerning in his personal-care preferences in recent years. Target took a bold move a few years ago after sensing market shifts when it segregated men’s products, including shave and deodorants, away from the women’s assortment. “It was provocative at the time,” noted Butcher, who said it challenged traditional shopping patterns. “We saw nice results, and it got us thinking that more men are making their decisions.” Target’s research, which includes going into homes for first-hand observations of how consumers use personal care products, suggests 40% of men’s products in its stores are purchased by men — much higher than four or five years ago.
“He’s becoming more specific in his choices,” said Butcher, who noted that the market also is becoming more saturated with choices for men.
Target is just scratching the surface for shave. As part of its plan to serve those men’s product needs, Target is looking to specialty products, such as Bevel Shave System, formulated for men with coarse hair. The line was launched in February on Target.com and in about 150 stores. Target uses its online site to monitor fledgling brands, such as Man Cave, Solo Noir, Biotherm Homme, Bulldog, Maestro’s Classic and 145 Intelligent Skincare. In stores, other another newcomer is Every Man Jack.