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Thread: what is the state of the safety razor industry?

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    Default what is the state of the safety razor industry?

    Good Morning everyone,

    As a tuesday morning topic i give you the state of the safety razor industry. How do you guys see it now and do you guys see blade production stoping any time soon?
    BOTOC

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    Not really, i am sure that any company producing anything would cease production once they see no profits or any need for said products..including blade production. Their obviously is a need and desire fro blades for safety razors since many are being produced today.
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    I reckon the multi-cart manipulators will topple into the sea and DE will reign supreme...someday!
    99% of men are gullible and they buy plastic multi-cart crap and don't even know they are shaving!
    I mean come on, a multi-cart razor with a battery, whatever next? It's the most stupid thing I've ever seen apart from Facebook!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro1969 View Post
    I reckon the multi-cart manipulators will topple into the sea and DE will reign supreme...someday!
    99% of men are gullible and they buy plastic multi-cart crap and don't even know they are shaving!
    I mean come on, a multi-cart razor with a battery, whatever next? It's the most stupid thing I've ever seen apart from Facebook!
    "I just don't know what today's man is thinking . . . shaving yourself with a thin slice of sharpened steel . . . don't they know that to really shave one needs a well-crafted straight razor, properly honed and stropped . . . not to mention a professional barber to do the job. It's the most stupid thing I've ever seen apart from sliced bread . . ."
    -- Great Grandfather, 1905

    Modern production of DE blades is geared to the demands of certain parts of the world where DE shaving is the norm. We are now seeing that market start to shift to low-priced carts that can compete price-wise with DE blades. Once the demand for blades drops to the point that it is no longer profitable to manufacture them, they will be no more. The reality (for our market) is that shaving with classic DE and SE razors is a geek hobby thing and sadly will never make its way back to mainstream. When was the last time you bought a loaf of bread that wasn't sliced?
    Last edited by BBrad; 05-29-2012 at 06:20 AM.
    Brad - OGA You must be willing to do the things today others won't do . . . In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBrad View Post
    When was the last time you bought a loaf of bread that wasn't sliced?
    Sunday, actually. Nothing beats a fresh loaf of Italian bread...I like to think that if blade companies decided to stop making blades, some enterprising group or two will buy the equipment and continue making them. There is obviously a market for blades, its just not a big one...the only down side to this theory is that should it happen, we would loose the variety of blade...as well as the cheapness, me thinks...
    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBrad View Post
    "I just don't know what today's man is thinking . . . shaving yourself with a thin slice of sharpened steel . . . don't they know that to really shave one needs a well-crafted straight razor, properly honed and stropped . . . not to mention a professional barber to do the job. It's the most stupid thing I've ever seen apart from sliced bread . . ."
    -- Great Grandfather, 1905

    Modern production of DE blades is geared to the demands of certain parts of the world where DE shaving is the norm. We are now seeing that market start to shift to low-priced carts that can compete price-wise with DE blades. Once the demand for blades drops to the point that it is no longer profitable to manufacture them, they will be no more. The reality (for our market) is that shaving with classic DE and SE razors is a geek hobby thing and sadly will never make its way back to mainstream. When was the last time you bought a loaf of bread that wasn't sliced?
    That was thought provoking,but the analogy is weak,even here in the far North suburbs of Chicago,my corner grocery store barely has any sort of health & beauty section,yet they sell a large variety of unsliced bread,double edge blades and Williams Shave Soap for $1.09 a box. 100% True

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    Of course one can still buy unsliced bread . . . but my point is that unsliced bread is a specialty item, and like classic shaving requires specific tools and knowledge for best results. Overwhelming majority of bread sold today is sliced. Overwhelming majority of razors/blades sold today are carts. Most people can't properly slice a loaf of bread, and most men don't pick up a vintage razor for the first time without at least a little bloodshed.

    My other point is that as each generation ages, they look ahead to the future with a mixture of awe and disbelief . . . as younger folk (sometimes) look backward, unable to grasp how life really was before their own era.
    Brad - OGA You must be willing to do the things today others won't do . . . In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown

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    DE will never 'reign supreme' unless the price of petroleum rises so high that plastic production makes manfacturing of cartridges cost-ineffective. We are not the main market for DE razors and blades; the Third World and emerging economies, where men are paid a dollar a day to work in sweatshops, are the principal market for these lower-priced products.

    Most people in these countries would LOVE to be able to shave with a Gillette/Shich 4-5-6-7 blade cartridge, since, like they do with most U.S. consumers, they seem to be a better, more sophisticated technology. If these countries develop more robust middle classes, expect to see cheaper cartridge knockoffs gradually siphon sales away from DE blades. However, with 1 billion Indians, 300 millions Indonesian, and more than a billion Chinese, the vast majority of them poor, it's unlikely that DE sales will be going away anytime soon.

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    There really isn't much of a safety razor "industry" these days.
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisindot View Post
    However, with 1 billion Indians, 300 millions Indonesian, and more than a billion Chinese, the vast majority of them poor, it's unlikely that DE sales will be going away anytime soon.
    ...reassuring, yet depressing...
    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xilbus View Post
    Good Morning everyone,

    As a tuesday morning topic i give you the state of the safety razor industry. How do you guys see it now and do you guys see blade production stoping any time soon?
    It looks pretty good to me because Gillette and Schick are making a lot of money and they're still pumping out blades for all of the safety razors they've made in the last century. Why would they stop making blades when there's such a huge demand?
    Tom--- Founding member of The ALPHA Team! If laughter is the best medicine then why do sick people go to doctors instead of comedians?

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisindot View Post
    However, with 1 billion Indians, 300 millions Indonesian, and more than a billion Chinese, the vast majority of them poor, it's unlikely that DE sales will be going away anytime soon.
    i had the same in mind! i think that this is such a huge market. therefore they will not stop the production soon. furthermore i think that the margin for de's are quite good...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBrad View Post
    "I just don't know what today's man is thinking . . . shaving yourself with a thin slice of sharpened steel . . . don't they know that to really shave one needs a well-crafted straight razor, properly honed and stropped . . . not to mention a professional barber to do the job. It's the most stupid thing I've ever seen apart from sliced bread . . ."
    -- Great Grandfather, 1905

    Modern production of DE blades is geared to the demands of certain parts of the world where DE shaving is the norm. We are now seeing that market start to shift to low-priced carts that can compete price-wise with DE blades. Once the demand for blades drops to the point that it is no longer profitable to manufacture them, they will be no more. The reality (for our market) is that shaving with classic DE and SE razors is a geek hobby thing and sadly will never make its way back to mainstream. When was the last time you bought a loaf of bread that wasn't sliced?
    I never buy sliced bread. I buy pistolettes or baguettes for dinner bread, and French loaf for sandwiches. For a sandwich on French, (a poboy IOW) you cut off a foot long piece, and slice it into bottom and top half. I have been known to buy other types of bread, especially tortillas, both flour and very fresh corn. Pita, Italian, all good when used appropriately. But not those facelessly manufactured sliced loaves.

    Sliced loaf is the Fusion of bread.
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBrad View Post
    "I just don't know what today's man is thinking . . . shaving yourself with a thin slice of sharpened steel . . . don't they know that to really shave one needs a well-crafted straight razor, properly honed and stropped . . . not to mention a professional barber to do the job. It's the most stupid thing I've ever seen apart from sliced bread . . ."
    -- Great Grandfather, 1905

    Modern production of DE blades is geared to the demands of certain parts of the world where DE shaving is the norm. We are now seeing that market start to shift to low-priced carts that can compete price-wise with DE blades. Once the demand for blades drops to the point that it is no longer profitable to manufacture them, they will be no more. The reality (for our market) is that shaving with classic DE and SE razors is a geek hobby thing and sadly will never make its way back to mainstream. When was the last time you bought a loaf of bread that wasn't sliced?
    You are probably right, except for the bread. I bought a loaf yesterday and sliced it myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xilbus View Post
    do you guys see blade production stoping any time soon?
    Doesn't matter to me. I have a 28 year supply of blades stockpiled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash McCoy View Post
    I never buy sliced bread . . . Sliced loaf is the Fusion of bread.
    I've got to agree with you there!

    In retrospect, maybe I could have picked a better analogy . . . seems like a lot of our B&B brethren slice their own bread . . . makes sense, since 99% of us shave with DE, SE, or Straight razors . . . or, maybe I'm right on the money! We're a special community, regardless . . . razors, bread, beer, bourbon, pipes, cigars, or what-not! We don't follow the lemmings off the cliff!

    To the OP question . . . as long as there is a blade market in the not-yet-emerged middle class of developing nations, we should be OK in our ability to buy blades. We already know that vintage Gillettes, Gems, and Schicks will last darn near forever. I'll probably be able to shave "vintage-style" for many years to come . . . but the blade selection and ability to buy new razors will diminish as the developing masses move toward the "better" (so they say) method of shaving with cartridge razors.
    Brad - OGA You must be willing to do the things today others won't do . . . In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown

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    Gillette's newest shaving system has just one blade, a light plastic handle and a sharply lower price. And it isn't available in the U.S.
    The Gillette Guard, the latest razor from the Procter & Gamble Co. PG +0.74% unit, instead will begin hitting stores in India next week.
    The move by the maker of five-bladed, battery-powered gizmos reflects P&G's aggressive push into emerging markets for new customers and growth. That focus is forcing P&G to be more modest on scale and more flexible on price.
    Gillette commands about 70% of the world's razor and blade sales, but it lags behind rivals in India and other developing markets, mainly because those consumers can't afford to buy its flagship products.
    The stripped-down Gillette Guard is designed to be affordable. The razor costs 15 rupees, or 34 cents, and uses blades that cost five rupees, or 11 cents.
    By contrast, the Mach 3 blades that Gillette has been selling in India cost about 100 rupees, around $2.24.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...890970954.html
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    Reading this made me think of the fact that Harley Davidson who really is still building motorcycles with retro technology has found a large market overseas.In India,they have to send the parts over and have them actually built in India to sell there to circumvent the massive tarriffs imposed by the Indian goverment.Whatever the case...In India and many other parts of the world they still want the American icon there,outdated or not and it's helping to keep Harley Davidson in the black.

    Look at the back to the land movement prominent in the 60's....It kind of came and went but now 50 years later mainstream grocery stores are loaded with organic vegetables,fruit etc... People changed the way they think and wanted something that made sense to them,simple and more healthy.

    Razors ? From the time the Gillette Open Tooth Old's ruled the shaving scene,there has been a long slow pattern of
    simplification,pussification,emasculation and dumbing down of the American male's shaving equipment/products.Now they're offering good decent American guys a battery powered 5 bladed montrosity whose cartridges cost almost $5 a pop ????

    I honestly believe that it would be entirely possible to make DE shaving much more popular were it marketed correctly and based on DE products that are user friendly enough to build a growing customer base.
    Last edited by razorx; 05-29-2012 at 06:40 PM.

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    I wish there was a like button for posts. Thanks for the cool thread guys. I wasnt thinking that it may still be popular in other parts of the world.
    BOTOC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xilbus View Post
    I wish there was a like button for posts. Thanks for the cool thread guys. I wasnt thinking that it may still be popular in other parts of the world.
    ...like over at PSF...
    Andy

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