A-Brands

Hair, There And Everywhere – What Effect Could Lockdown Grooming Habits Have On P&G?

Share this article

In April, actor Jim Carrey announced on his Twitter page that he planned to grow a beard until "we all go back to work", i.e. once the coronavirus pandemic had subsided.

While the Truman Show star eventually gave up on his hirsute ambitions a month later – "I shaved because... hey, I don’t need a reason," as he put it on social media – the choice of many to forgo their traditional grooming habits during lockdown could have a knock-on effect on major brands in the male grooming industry.

Sign Of The Times

Also in April, the New Yorker published an article on The Rise Of The Quarantine Beard, tracked the role of facial hair as a signifier of the times, referencing Emiliano Zapata, Karl Marx and Fidel Castro, as well as today's social media stars.

'Quarantined beards may function as a social-media signifier of a somewhat opaque, and perhaps itchy, form of solidarity, but they have a far-reaching social history,' it suggested.

But for the male grooming boffins at P&G, for example, which owns the massive Gillette and Braun brands, the trend towards COVID-inspired beard growth is likely to receive less of a fanfare.

According to P&G's third quarter results, which tracked the period from January to March 2020 (thereby taking in the first coronavirus wave), the company's Grooming segment saw a one percent decline in organic sales compared to the same period the previous year.

Commenting on the results, Jon Moeller, P&G's vice chairman and CFO, said that the closure of electrical stores in Europe had an impact on sales of Braun products in particular (as well as brands operating in the Oral Care Channel), as well as changes to male grooming patterns.

"The other challenge is lower shave frequency while working from home, to put it bluntly," he explained. "But, that’s something where we’re currently working through. As I said, we’ve built share, we want to maintain our share position.

"We need to work with our retail partners as well who have in some cases, de-prioritised grooming in the very near term to deal with the empty shelves and some of the other aisles of the store. If we can do that effectively, no reason we can’t continue to hold and build share."

Market Shift

Truth be told, however, the market for shaving products hasn't exactly shown impressive growth in recent years, with the current lockdown situation possibly set to exacerbate what has been a downward trend.

According to Euromonitor, the market for men's shaving products in the US fell by 11% in the five years to 2018, as more Millennials and young professionals embraced beard growth – this led P&G to issue a write down on its Gillette business last year.

The brand is, however, seeking to shift its attention from shaving to facial hair management, through the launch of a new premium male grooming range, named after the founder of the business, King C Gillette (yes, that was his real name).

The range (pictured) includes a beard trimmer, beard oil, beard balm, an 'edging razor' (for those hard to reach places), and a variety of other products, including a double-edged safety razor based on Gillette's original design from 1901.

Interestingly, as well as rolling out the range in selected stores, Gillette is backing the launch with the rollout of a direct-to-consumer platform, at kingcgillette.com, following on from other brand moves into the D2C arena.

Commenting on the new range, Gary Coombe, the brand's chief executive, said "All men have their own grooming styles and at home rituals which are personal to them, and so we’ve put all our years of shaving experience together with the very best razor, hair and skin care technologies to create this full range of tools, accessories and care products to meet all the grooming needs of all men. It’s the one-stop shop for grooming that men have been looking for.”

Or, to put it another way, 'if you can't beat them, join them'.

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Get exclusive access to the latest grocery retail & FMCG news, interviews with industry leading executives, and expert analysis on the trends shaping the sector today
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Get exclusive access to the latest grocery retail & FMCG news, interviews with industry leading executives, and expert analysis on the trends shaping the sector today
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com