It always comes down to the power of the brand.
At Xtreme Personal Care, acquiring the Barbasol license for its electric and personal care products is making all the difference in the world. The license of the well-known shaving cream, used by generations of men for more than 100 years, has put the spotlight right on the emerging company as it continues to roll out an impressive line of electronic men’s grooming products that is gaining traction across the mass retail arena.
Started less than four years ago, the company already has more than 50 products available in the marketplace in more than 50,000 retail locations across the country, with big plans to keep on growing as a larger percentage of men take their grooming habits more seriously and search for the right product for the right use.
“We have the license to one of the most recognizable brands in the shaving category,” said Jack Gemal, division head and partner of the Edison, N.J.-based company. “Consumers trust the Barbasol name and that has helped us make a difference with these shoppers, particularly when they see our products on retail shelves. On top of that, we offer a great value to the consumer and very attractive margins to the retailer.”
Xtreme offers products in several categories, including rotary and foil shavers in men’s shave; powered body groomers, beard trimmers and detailers in body; pro clippers for the head; and nail clippers, tweezers and personal care items in implements.
“It is amazing what the pandemic did for us,” Gemal said. “Sales increased by more than 150% during the year as salons and barber shops were forced to close. People had to cut their hair themselves, and they needed our self-grooming products.”
Then, as restrictions eased, Gemal said that sales continued to increase as more men decided to do what they could to look good on Zoom calls. “Products like ours allow the consumer to really decide how they want to look and do what is needed to get there in the comforts of their homes,” he said. “This proves that we are one of the few categories that are both pandemic-proof and recession-proof.”
Still, the men’s grooming department has some way to go to become a major player at retail. While more retailers are giving the category space in their stores — and even its own department — suppliers emphasized that more needs to be done to grab the consumer’s attention while in store.
“The bottom line is that men are more than ever concerned about grooming,” Gemal said. “This is a category that is evolving. Men want to have their own looks and that means different products for different looks.”
Additionally, he said retailers are paying attention to these trends and responding with more marketing to make customers — both male and female — aware that they have a broader assortment of men’s grooming products in their stores. “This is about growing their business incrementally and looking for white space,” Gemal said. “Retailers just need to look around, and see what their competitors are doing and how successful they are with this category. The more they do with it, the better the results.”
Gemal said he is excited about the future. Besides delving into more categories, including oral care, scales, massagers and thermometers, the company is starting to market its Pure Silk line of products geared to women. The line includes electric hair removal products, hair styling tools, and spa and bath products.
“It all comes down to timing,” he said. “We think we have the right brand at the right time. It’s about offering them the right merchandise and getting the products out in a timely fashion."
Looking back, Gemal said: “Four years ago, we did not even exist. Look where we are now. This company is on the fast track to success and we are really excited about it.”