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Philips' Larney: Extreme dynamism characterizes shaving segment


There have been dramatic changes in the shaving category. DSN talked with Ray Larney, VP, U.S. retail sales of Philips Consumer Lifestyle, to see how the company is focusing its approach for the new marketplace.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

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

Ray Larney: The shaving segment is an extremely dynamic one. The trend among men to maintain facial hair or stubble has put a great deal of pressure on the core shaving segment. Philips has handled this challenge in several ways. Despite the trend, we continue to invest in consumer communication via traditional commercials, digital media, public relations and social media to attract consumers to the segment and to the shelves. In addition, the company has worked hard to bring visibility to its strong grooming portfolio in a move to help drive growth in the total shaving and grooming segment.

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

Larney: Many retailers are already realizing that the current consumer trends are likely not transient, but rather, here to stay for the foreseeable future. Such a belief is driving some radical changes in the manner in which space is allocated in store aisles. Just as significantly, it is highlighting the importance of SKU and brand rationalization in achieving success with the category.

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

Larney: Philips recently upgraded its entire shaving portfolio to provide consumers with the very best shaving experience. In addition, during the summer of 2016, Philips launched OneBlade. This is a very unique proposition driven by strong consumer insights and it has been very well received.

The product helps men to address needs specific to the way they shave today. Whether they want to trim a beard, maintain a stubble look or remove all facial hair, OneBlade is one product that provided many solutions to consumers.

The launch of OneBlade was supported with several innovative consumer communications, which really helped to ensure a successful introduction to the market. For example, Philips partnered with Marvel on the release of "Dr. Strange" for the launch of OneBlade, which makes a special guest appearance in the film. In addition, we also teamed up with Marvel at New York Comic Con in October — attendees had a chance to have their beards trimmed like Dr. Strange or a number of other superhero styles by stylists using the OneBlade.

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