Last week, California-based grooming company Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for a hefty sum of $1 billion. The company was founded in 2011 and quickly made a name for itself with its viral marketing campaign, competitive pricing, and convenient business model.


Five years later, many similar shave subscription services have popped up, including Harry’s and Wet Shave Club. It’s clear that there is a large demand for affordable, straightforward, and quality razors, and these niche companies have visibly shocked a multi-billion-dollar industry previously controlled almost entirely by conglomerates. Procter & Gamble brand Gillette has even introduced its own delivery service, Gillette Shave Club, in an attempt to reclaim lost market share from delivery services like Dollar Shave Club.


For a company that depicts itself as a no-fuss alternative to “the other guys,” selling to a multinational corporation might sound like an uncharacteristic move. However, it seems unlikely that the sale will disrupt business for Dollar Shave Club and its millions of subscribers. Beards never stop growing, so the demand for razors is always there (which also explains how Gillette and Schick dominated the market for so long).


The situation looks much worse for the aforementioned established razor manufacturers. Procter & Gamble faces increased competition with its longtime rival Unilever, and Gillette’s delivery service simply hasn’t gained the traction that the smaller services have. Dollar Shave Club now has the financial backing of one of the biggest companies in the world to go along with its established popularity, and unless Gillette can offer a radically cheaper or better product, we can probably expect the company to continue losing market share.


(Dollar Shave Club)

(Dollar Shave Club)

On the other hand, other shave subscription services, like Harry’s, will ostensibly have a hard time continuing to compete with Dollar Shave Club and its now increased exposure. Though each company serves a different group of consumers (Dollar Shave Club’s marketing is much more casual than Harry’s), Dollar Shave is by far the most popular of the many young companies and is now in an even better position to push its competitors out of the market.


Consumers, however, will probably benefit the most of all the parties. With the shaving industry continuing to shift, offering affordable quality to the consumer is the only way that any of these players will be able to stay afloat in the long run. We can expect to see the existing services continue to provide cheap, convenient boxes of razors as well as new grooming products.


Why do you think Dollar Shave Club decided to sell when they were doing so well independently? Sound off in the comments!