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British shaving brand Somersets is set on changing the American consumer’s perspective of shaving.
This month the brand launched stateside via somersets.com, drugstore.com, and dailygrommet.com, marking the first time the collection of shave oils, gels, and pre/post shave skin care products have been available to the U.S. market. Come January 2013, Somersets will enter all Duane Reade, Shopko, Meijer, Giant Eagle, and Harmon’s doors (as well as cvs.com, walgreens.com and target.com), or approximately 3,000 doors. The brand is anticipated to be sold in 24,000 doors by the end of the year.
The new year will also bring the debut of Extra Delicate Antibacterial Shaving Oil ($6.99 to $14.99) for the bikini area. “We are bringing both vision and innovation to a category that is in desperate need of a wow,” said vice president of sales and marketing Jane Forrer, who is overseeing the U.S. launch. Fully embracing the all-natural movement, the range is free of chemicals, soaps, and artificial ingredients for a shaving experience the brand claims forgoes the need of water.
“The large companies which dominate the wet shaving category have trained American consumers to believe that the key to a successful shave is using a complicated and expensive razor; we are here to say that the key to a successful shave is in how you prepare your skin, not the blade you use,” said Forrer.
Additional offerings in the line designed for the fairer sex include the Extra Sensitive Shaving Oil ($6.99 to $14.99), which contains a proprietary blend of organic essential oils — lavender, tea tree, and rosemary — claiming a close, smooth shave minus any nicks or razor burn. For men seeking to prep facial hair, condition the skin, and restore skin’s balance post shave, offerings include three oils priced to match the women’s counterparts (Original, Extra Sensitive, and Tough Stubble) as well as pre-shave face wash and scrub, and after-shave face balm and moisturizer, $7.99 each.
Because shaving with oil is a relatively new concept for American consumers, the brand has added instructional videos to its Web site for visual guidance. “It’s important that our customers see not only the quality of our oils and the value, but also the health and wellness benefits inherent in using an all-natural product,” said Forrer.
The brand, founded in 1991, is available in a countries like Australia, Russia and Singapore. In conjunction with its arrival in the U.S., Somersets will also be making its way into Canada. Although the brand declined to talk numbers, industry sources estimate first year U.S. retail sales to be about $8 million. “A prestige product at a value price — our brand has a personality: simple, sexy, playful and fun,” said Forrer.