Target and online men’s grooming subscription service Harry’s have teamed up to sell Harry’s products in Target stores and online, the companies announced on Wednesday.
The starter kit and Harry’s assortment will be available on Target.com starting Aug. 10, and Harry’s products roll out in stores on Aug. 21, according to a Target blog post.
Subscription-based men's grooming products seem to be getting their day in the sun: Target's announcement comes only a few weeks after consumer products giant Unilever said it will acquire men’s grooming startup Dollar Shave Club for a reported $1 billion in cash.
The subscription-based model has exploded, leaving individual startups to scramble for further investment funding in order to scale. Many of those startups, surging at first by disrupting the established market and grabbing customers, now see their models taken over by the retail giants they hoped to trip up.
Beauty subscription company Birchbox is facing that problem too, as rival Sephora launches its own subscription service while continuing to enjoy the advantages of its brick-and-mortar network and successful concession partnership with J.C. Penney. Birchbox this year has already instituted two rounds of layoffs, halted plans for a Canadian expansion and an initial public offering, and scaled back its plans for more physical stores.
The disruption and competition has been be good for consumers and these new partnerships should boost Target (and Unilever and P&G) as well as startups. “With companies like Harry’s, the men’s grooming industry is changing quickly,” Harry’s co-founder and co-CEO Jeff Raider said in a Target blog post. “This evolution is largely driven by the way men are shopping these days. They’re extremely selective, buying online more than ever before, and also care more about expressing their personal style than past generations."
Unilever’s buyout of Dollar Shave Club and Target’s partnership with Harry’s are ways to save startups from scrambling for funding. The deal could provide Harry’s with a brick-and-mortar channel to market and sells it popular razors and grooming kits. For Target, the products offer exclusivity in an era when so much merchandise can be found at Amazon and elsewhere, leaving retailers to compete solely on price.
Harry's razors, face wash, after shave and shaving cream will be featured in special sections at Target, sitting alongside higher-priced established brands like Gillette that inspired Harry’s disruption, Mashable said. Harry’s co-founder and co-CEO Andy Katz-Mayfield wrote in a statement that talks with Target started two years ago. “Our brands share many of the same values," Katz-Mayfield wrote. "We both appreciate exceptional design, we’re focused on offering high-quality, affordable products and we always try to put customers first.”