In July 2016 Unilever, the brands conglomerate, bought the Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion. The US company was only four years old, but had $150 million in annual sales, a loyal customer base and even a viral video to its name. The Dollar Shave Club sells shaving toiletries, but like Christian Benedict, operates on a subscription model. Their successful concept is equally in operation in the UK and we thought we’d give you a quick tour of some of the main players in the market.
Cornerstone is a well-established operator in the online subscription service market. Customers can sign up for a regular postal delivery of Cornerstone shaving products and can tweak their plan as they go. This means customers always have everything they need for a great shave without needing to go to the shops. Further, Cornerstone prides itself on the quality of its product range – produced to the same standards as department store brands, yet priced apparently at below what you’d pay in the supermarket. Cornerstone runs a smooth operation with excellent branding and a frictionless website.
£30 (includes regularly face scrub; shave gel or cream; razor blades; and shave balm. Includes initially personalised razor handle). Lower prices available where optional extras are omitted.
Like its competitors Dozen Winks aims to ease the buying experience through its regular delivery model. It sets itself apart from them however, through a distinctly old school approach. Included in the box for instance is a badger brush, as well as a double edge safety razor and accompanying razor blades (as opposed to cartridges). They even include matchsticks “that are used to close pores, heal nicks and cuts after a shave”. Some may find this a little daunting, but for most Dozen Winks is certainly blending the best points of traditional shaving style with a modern approach to buying.
£29.99 (includes regularly pre-shave soap; sandlewood shaving cream; razor blades; and matchsticks. Includes initially double edge safety razor and shaving brush).
The Bearded Colonel is a little less about the add-ons (shave balm, shave cream, face scrub etc) and focusses more on its razors, stressing their German ‘inverted arch’ blade technology (we note that the other companies in this post sell either British or German manufactured blades). Consequently, the total regular payments are necessarily lower at £10 per delivery, though of course you don’t get the extras and if you do want them the bill can quickly add up.
£10 (includes regularly razors and initially the shaving handle). £25 upgrade (brush and sandlewood shaving cream).
The Personal Barber
The Personal Barber sells itself as “a subscription service aimed at those that appreciate quality and want to enjoy the little things in life”. They seek to achieve this, like Dozen Winks, by encouraging their customers to switch to the classic safety razor and brush, noting that the single blade is gentler on the skin and which “gives you the control to shave in a way that avoids irritation such as razor burn or rash”. Equally, they note that whipping up your own lather and calmly shaving away stubble is incredibly satisfying. We tend to agree.
In addition, the Personal Barber keep things interesting by sending a completely different box of shaving goods every month (or when you want one), allowing you to discover new products. This variation covers from month to month a different aspect of the shaving routine. One month you might be preparing your beard with a ginseng scrub, the next you may be soothing the skin with a post shave balm or applying an old fashioned alum block.
£24.95 (includes regularly shaving soap; double edge razor blades; and mystery gifts such as pre-shave oil, aftershave balm, cologne or an alum product. Includes initially safety razor and shaving brush).
What do you think?
Whether you’ve enjoyed a Cornerstone shave, the old style shaving of Dozen Winks or The Personal Barber, or gone with another service we’d love to hear your experience of subscription businesses specialising in shaving toiletries. Drop us a line on our Twitter page or contact us on Facebook.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and have a good day!
All the best,