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Beards could be to blame for downward trend of razor sales

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Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:33 am

Rusty Poulette, a worker and co-owner of Radical Press Coffee Collective, started growing his beard about 11 years ago in high school. He cited cost effectiveness as a reason for not shaving.

“Razors are expensive,” he said. “I would say that’s not the main factor, but that’s definitely a factor.”

Recently released business statistics suggest that Polette is part of a growing trend that is getting hairier.

The manufacturers of the Gillette and Schick brand men’s razors announced that razor sales have been falling, and some point to the popularity of bigger beards for an explanation.

Energizer Holdings Inc. announced unit sales of its Schick men’s razors has seen a 10 percent drop in sales during the past year, according to an Aug. 1 Bloomberg Businessweek article.

Although Energizer speculates that the aggressive promotions P&G has offered to consumers have contributed to the drop, other sources point to broader cultural trends, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

An analyst for international marketing research center Euromonitor International wrote in a blog post that facial hair’s trendiness, its current acceptance in the workplace and the increasing cost of shaving have contributed to the decline in sales.

B.J. Webster, owner of Downtown Barber Shop, said the unshaven style has become more popular.

“The scruffy look, you could call it,” he said. “Not a beard, but not quite shaved, either.”

Webster has been cutting hair for 53 years and has seen an increase in facial hair during the past decade. He has found that men come in looking to maintain rather than to shave their beards.

“A lot of time, that leads in to letting it grow,” he said.

For Poulette, shaving is simply a nuisance.

“I hate shaving,” he said. “It’s too much work and effort.”

A version of this story ran on page 5 on 8/28/2013 under the headline "Hey, beards: I mustache you about the decrease in razor sales"

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