Energizer Points Finger at P&G Promotions for Hurting Shaving Market

Sales of razors declining

Energizer, which owns the Schick shaving brand, blamed promotions by competitor Procter & Gamble for declining performance in the shaving category, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ward Klein, CEO of Energizer Holdings, Inc. said P&G's "hyper-levels of promotional spending" are hurting the shaving business.

In the first quarter, sales in the overall razor and blade category declined. For men's shaving systems, sales declined 3.6 percent in the last quarter. Energizer posted a 9 percent increase in the second fiscal quarter, as the company cut costs, but has lowered expectations for sales in the next quarter. This measured outlook is partially a response to pressure from promotions in the personal-care market.

P&G, which owns the Gillette shaving brand, has been offering more deals, increasing promotion by 5 percent in the quarter. Last year, P&G cut razor prices in order to recapture market share.

"By our estimation," Klein said, "our competitor's total [advertising and promotion] spend rate against razors and blades during the last nine months has increased measurably, with no material benefit to the category growth or relative market share positions."

A P&G spokesman, Paul Fox, countered, "The U.S. blade and razor category is growing." He added that the company's level of promotion is about the same as Energizer's.