NEW YORK Gillette and The Art of Shaving this fall will launch the Fusion Chrome Collection, a premium assortment of shaving instruments that combine Gillette's expertise in blade technology with the craftsmanship, quality and style for which the retail chain is known.
The collection consists of two razors, manual and powered versions (the latter has a built-in spotlight), a coordinating shaving brush and two shaving stands. This is the first time Gillette has co-branded its razors.
"The Fusion Chrome Collection is a natural marriage between the two brands," said Matthew Wohl, gm, global grooming, male premium systems, Gillette, noting that many of The Art of Shaving consumers are Gillette users [Mach 3 and Fusion].
"The Fusion Chrome Collection is designed to be the quintessential shaving experience for the true shaving connoisseur. Men are very passionate about shaving because for many of them, shaving conjures up fond memories of their fathers who first taught them how to shave," he said. "We want to build on this emotion."
Gillette commands more than a 70 percent share of the world's blade and razor sales.
Eric Malka, president and CEO, The Art of Shaving, Miami, added, "Partnering with Gillette allows us to offer our customers the very latest in shaving technology, and Gillette fits into our sweet spot in terms of our customer base."
Art of Shaving products retail for between $100 and $1200, with the core volume sales between $100 and $300.
Suggested retail pricing for Gillette's Fusion Chrome Collection power razor will be $150, and $125 for the manual razor. The shaving brush and shaving stands will be sold separately for $75 and $100, respectively.
The Fusion Chrome Collection will hit retail outlets Oct. 1. The line will be available at all Art of Shaving shops (27 nationwide), theartofshaving.com, upscale retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Barney's New York, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and select men's clothiers, spas, resorts and apothecaries nationwide.
Wohl and Malka said there would be no traditional advertising campaign. Rather, the focus would be on online marketing, direct mail and in-store events. The latter, which will start in October and will expand around Thanksgiving through Christmas, will include demonstrations and barber events where Art of Shaving staffers will shave consumers.
Both Wohl and Malka believe demonstrations and sampling are crucial to raising awareness of the products and appealing to the consumer. "It's about engaging the consumer where he is. Educating the consumer is the key to the events," said Malka. "It's easier to get a guy to upgrade his shaving ritual than it is to get him to wear a moisturizer."
Gillette Co., Boston, is a division of Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble.