The Dollar Shave Club, based in Los Angeles, has been bought by London-based Unilever Corporation for one billion dollars. The startup, based in Los Angeles and founded by CEO Mike Dubin, offers razors, blades and other personal care products by mail in North America and Australia. The acquisition by Unilever gives the giant company a broad base to expand the Shave Club into new markets.
Fueled by clever videos, first seen on You Tube and later on select TV outlets featuring the founder, the direct-to-consumer company took off in 2010 and has grown its loyal customers–though the Shave Club has yet to show a profit.
In full disclosure, I was a member of the Shave Club, attracted by the clever ads and not needing to go to a retail outlet to purchase blades and other shaving products. However, after a year’s membership, I discontinued my membership when I discovered that Schick blades were superior to the Dollar Club’s product. I was hooked on the company’s ads that were clever and humorous, and the by-mail convenience…but for my money, the blades didn’t match the quality of the commercials, revealing that the branding was more effective than the razors.
Though the Dollar Shave Club took in $152 million last year, whether the Unilever acquisition will prove to be successful will be determined by the Club’s ability to attract a worldwide audience through the use of Unilever’s presence in 190 countries.