What is your take on the razor wars, first between Gillette and Schick, and now with online
competitors? Does Gillette face a serious threat with respect to its pricing model? Explain
Gillette dominated the razor market for about 60 years until Wilkinson Sword introduced their stainless
steel razor blade in 1962 (Ferrell O.C. and Hartline M.D. 2014). Since then, the companies have been
well known competitors and have gone “toe to toe” since the war between the two started. When Gillette
released the Mach-3 Power, the first razor to include a battery; Schick released the Quattro which
consisted of 4 blades and is also battery operated. Because of the similarities between the two razors,
Gillette sued Schick due to the violation of the Mach-3 patent.
To date, Gillette currently owns Duracell
batteries while Energizer battery currently owns Schick. Although the companies have maintained a close
run together, Gillette has always seemed to dominate the shaving industry until recently.
For the first time in 30 years Schick is giving Gillette some real competition. Competition that is cutting
into Gillette’s pricing power (TheShaveDen.com, 2017).
For many years, Gillette has been known for
their simple pricing strategy: add new features and raise prices. This strategy posed a serious threat for
Gillette. In 2007 Gillette raised prices even more to offset higher production costs caused by the
recession. Because of this, customers began move to other razor companies including Schick. According
to a data tracking firm, in 2010 Gillette share in the men’s razor business fell more than 70 percent
(Green, D. Business Insider, 2017).
Consumers were fed up with the high prices and began to take action;
this is why TheDollarShaveClub.com was invented. A spokeswoman for Gillette, Kara Buckley stated the
company is very aware of what is happening in the North American landscape and are now focusing on
addressing some of the challenges they face including the pricing strategy. She also stated that Gillette
realizes the drawbacks of creating razors with higher and higher prices and how the company needs to do
a better job of having a multitude of price points for all consumers.
Ferrell, O. C., & Hartline, M. D. (2014). Marketing strategy text and cases. Mason, OH: South-
. (n.d.). Retrieved July 31, 2017, from
APA MLA Chicago
Green, D. (2017, February 23). Gillette is cutting the price of its razors by up to 20%. Retrieved July 31,