Nearly two years after first expanding the reach of its grooming products to traditional retail through an exclusive deal with Target, Harry’s has opened the floodgates even further by partnering with Walmart. Walmart.com already is selling Harry’s products, and the omnichannel men’s care brand will roll out razors to 2,200 U.S. stores on May 21.
Harry’s plans to expand its products to more stores by the end of the year, according to a statement. The offering will include one exclusive item — a “Truman-style” razor in a surf-blue color similar to Walmart’s logo.
When Harry’s first started selling via Target’s stores and web site, the manufacturer sought to ramp up competition with chief subscription rival Dollar Shave Club, which had just been acquired by CPG giant Unilever. An expansion into brick-and-mortar benefitted Harry’s by giving it more visibility, and Target hoped to drive more Millennial shoppers with the addition of the Harry’s brand.
Harry’s products complement Walmart’s strategy to engage Millennials, which includes a complete redesign of Walmart.com. The new site focuses on more local and personalized elements and is designed to provide more upscale specialty, home and fashion shopping experiences. with Lord & Taylor already set to have its own flagship on the site. It is still not clear if Harry’s products will get their own branded page on Walmart.com.
In a RetailWire discussion, James Tenser, Principal of VSN Strategies, noted that there has been an opening for a second major men’s shaving brand in the mass market, giving Harry’s a bigger incentive to explore new sales channels.
“Gillette had all but cornered the U.S. market and had driven up the price points in the process — until it announced price cuts averaging 12% last year,” Tenser said. “The major impetus behind the move? Disruption by Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. Harry’s has some interesting options when it comes to product and design. It could choose to ship banner-specific models to major accounts — ‘designer’ style to Target; no-frills to Walmart; a middle-of-the-road version to chain drug. It could even reserve a super-premium version for its online subscribers, barbershops, and salons.”