Despite the increasing availability of permanent hair removal devices for use in the home, the high initial cost is still off-putting for most consumers. The convenience, flexibility and price of razors is already of high appeal to both men and women alike, although advances in lubricating strips and moisture bars are beginning to cannibalise sales, resulting in decreasing usage of shaving preparations and driving a need for more innovation in the pre-shave sector.
The UK’s £625 million men’s and women’s shaving market may be robust in terms of its performance as a core toiletry category, but the sector faces challenges from new hair removal procedures as well as greater acceptability of beards.
The continued emergence of salon-style electrical devices offering permanent hair removal from the home is beginning to make its mark. Value sales of depilatory products are expected to decrease by £2 million by 2018 (the equivalent of 4%), whilst sales of electrical or battery-powered devices are expected to climb by around £2 million per year for the next five years to reach an estimated worth of £130 million by 2018.
Razors and blades remain the driving force for growth for the market, with universal appeal thanks to their easy-use, low-cost proposition, although even this segment faces a potential challenge from the rise in acceptability of the beard. However, this also highlights potential opportunities for shaving hardware manufacturers to innovate in pro-beard care products or razors and shaving preparations designed to remove substantial facial hair comfortably.
Whilst men are generally interested in products to help postpone hair removal for longer, they are most interested in longer-lasting disposable razors, with 38% interested and 26% willing to pay more. This is a reflection of their usage of disposable razors: 28% of men have bought disposable razors in the last year.
Disposable razors are most effective for their first shave, and therefore destined to be a regular purchase during the household shop. This cost can mount up, and so disposable razors that stay sharp and effective for longer are likely to have wide appeal, particularly to the 54% of female and 31% of male buyers of disposable razors on a tight budget
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