Is there be an alternative to flagging down a store clerk to unlock the razor blade case? Or spending a crazy amount of money on just one set of blades? There may very well be one: Harry's. There's a very good chance that when a man finds out about Harry’s, he may be seduced by the allure of receiving high-quality blades at home at half the cost. The mail-order shaving and grooming company has completely disrupted the razor blade market—long dominated by Gillette and Schick—with its simple formula of combining high-quality shaving products with the convenience of home delivery at affordable prices. This alone makes Harry’s worth it for many men, but there is a lot more to its products and its service that also makes it a much better shaving experience. But is it worth all the hype? Keep reading to find out.
- Harry's is a shave club subscription service that targets a more hip or affluent clientele than its competitors.
- The company sells slightly more expensive but higher quality items.
- Harry’s also sells its products at Target locations nationwide and at Barneys in New York City.
- One downside to the service is that Harry's ships new razors on a set schedule regardless of your need for them.
Harry's: A Brief Overview
Harry's was co-founded by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider in 2012. The New York-based company manufactures, markets, and sells its own shaving and grooming products. Harry's first launched its subscription service in 2013 and launched its product line across Target stores in 2017. The company also moved into the shaving market in the United Kingdom that same year.
Harry’s set out to ensure its razors and blades are always of the highest quality. That's why the company acquired its own razor factory in 2014. Located in Germany, Feintechnik boasts a solid craft pedigree, producing billions of blades in its nearly 100-year history. By actually owning the factory that produces its blades, Harry’s is able to maintain the quality control and innovation that goes into the manufacturing process. It also allows the company to make tweaks according to customer feedback. Its closest rival, Dollar Shave Club, simply purchases blades made by an Asian manufacturer.
In 2019, Edgewell Personal Care—the maker of Schick products—made an offer to purchase Harry's for $1.4 billion. The deal was blocked by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in early 2020 as regulators felt it would hinder competition in the market, thus inflating prices.
What You Get With Harry’s
Harry's razors come in two styles—Truman and Winston. Truman sports the basic handle, which is offered free to new subscribers, while Winston is the premium option. Regular prices are $9 and $20, respectively. The subscription is based on the frequency of shaving, where the customer can choose from five to seven shaves per week, two to four shaves per week, or just one shave per week. Membership is flexible, and subscribers can cancel at any time.
Harry's memberships are flexible, and subscribers can cancel at any time.
Harry’s uses its website to sell high-quality razors along with other shaving products at an affordable price. The first purchase is usually a set, which includes a handle, blade, and a small bottle of shave gel. From that point forward, blade refills can be purchased as needed or on a subscription basis. The shaving cream is formulated to last much longer than the typical can of shaving cream.
Pricing depends on the shaving frequency. For example, you can sign up for a starter pack that includes one handle, one razor blade, and a two-ounce bottle of shave gel for $8 including shipping. If you choose the two to four days per week option, you can get eight razor blades that ship every three months for $15. You can also add one bottle of foaming shaving gel to your order for $21.
Harry’s says it recognizes that shaving needs are specific to each individual. That's why it allows its customers to tailor their subscriptions based on their needs. The company also allows consumers to choose a-la-carte options so they can purchase individual items that aren't regularly fulfilled.
But one of the biggest complaints about shave club subscriptions like Harry's is that the blades are sent to you whether you or not you need them. There is one caveat, though—Harry's offers a Shave Plan that allows you to customize your product deliveries based on your actual need. You can adjust your Shave Plan each month.
The Buying Experience
Everything about Harry’s products and its website points to their simplicity. Its German-engineered razors have a simple, understated design, but they feel substantial. Its website design also has a simple, understated elegance, which makes the product offering seem substantial. The time it takes to go from product selection to hitting the purchase button is minimal, but you may find yourself hanging around to learn more about Harry’s compelling story and its philanthropic commitment.
Once you click the purchase button, expect a stream of elegantly crafted communications thanking you and offering a virtual concierge to handle all your shaving needs. Your shaving set will arrive in the mailbox before you know it.
In an age when socially conscious consumers are affecting business decisions, Harry’s says it is very much a socially aware business. It gives 1% of its annual profits to a designated organization. It also lends 1% of employee time for volunteer work throughout the city of New York.
The Shaving Experience
It's difficult to review razor blades because shaving is such a personal experience. Every man’s face is different, and every man's idea of a good shave is different. Some reviews give the blades a high grade, while others say the razors are just a step up from disposable blades.
Since Harry's is a fast-growing e-commerce business, it listens to its customers. Since it is the designer and direct manufacturer of its own products, Harry’s is always working toward improving the quality of its products. The only issue is how far it can go without having to raise prices.
Where Harry’s Goes From Here
Harry’s is still a private company. With its valuation approaching $1 billion, Harry’s may also be thinking about an IPO. Dollar Shave Club—a rival company—raised $75 million, with an eye toward a possible initial public offering (IPO) as a way to keep up with Harry’s growth.
Harry's razor products are good enough for more than two million repeat customers. And that number is likely to grow, as the company moves in the retail market space. Remember, Harry's began offering its products in Target locations across the country. And some of its higher-end products are available in the Barneys store in New York City.
Its place in the market takes a small chunk out of the $40 billion razor market that has been dominated by two large companies—Gillette and Schick. Gillette responded with its own subscription club. But it has yet to compete with Harry’s on price. And venture capitalists think enough of Harry’s prospects in the future to invest more than $375 million in seven founds of funding between 2012 and 2017.