>> A bold move by an old brand, Unilever shells out one billion dollars to buy dollar shave club, an online retailer barely old enough to grow peach fuzz. Apparently just to get a foothold on the web. The Venice California based start up, which delivers shaving products starting at one dollar straight to customer's homes, does remarkably well connecting to its 3.2 million online customers.
So the company made a splash into the men's grooming market in 2012 with this viral debut commercial featuring Dollar Shave Club founder and funny man Michael Dublin, shamelessly hawking his product.>> Our blades are
eat.>> And dancing with a costumed bear under a shower of dollar bills.
It may seem a funny business, but Unilever is gaining a serious edge by way of this deal.
Reuters breaking views reporter Jennifer Saba explains.>> What Unilever is getting is a direct channel to consumers. They typically have to depend on retailers to sell their products, such as Dove or Axe Men's grooming stuff.
So this is one way to get data on who is buying razor blades and other types of things. Dollar Shave Club also sells men's grooming products not just razors. And it will also give unilever an entry into this market. Dollar Shave Club already snatching customers from Unilever's direct competitor Proctor and Gamble, which owns the Gillette brand.
U.S. sales of men grooming products growing 4% last year driven by online sales. This latest deal by Unilever causing some analyst to speculate if the company is gearing up to make another purchase, this time for Schick and Edge razor maker Edgewell.