By  on April 2, 2010

U.K.-based men’s grooming and shaving brand King of Shaves has reformulated and is relaunching its duo of women’s shave gels in hopes of appealing to a younger customer.

While the two new shave gels — called Queen of…Ooh La La and Queen of…Ta-da — have reached Duane Reade stores, the items will be rolled out this month to 250 Target stores, with the possibility of expanded distribution in Target in the future.

Queen of…Ooh La La and Queen of…Ta-da are intended to attract a 23- to 24-year-old woman with colorful, quirky pink-and-blue graphics, including pictures of cheeky models on each of the white, 150-ml. tubes.

“We hired a research company to explore the younger customer to see what we would do with [the women’s products],” noted Will King, founder of King of Shaves. “When the recession hit in 2008, there were cutbacks in lower performing brands. Conventional women’s shaving product wasn’t cutting it, so we’re going into a younger target market, using social media. There was no one doing it — so we’ll get into that space and do it.”

To promote the products, King noted, two “social media personalities” with the aliases BarberElla NYC and BarberElla London — based in the U.S. and U.K., respectively — will “engender digital dialogue” via Twitter and give “consumer recommendations” on the products. “They’re spokeswomen for King of Shaves and other brands, including fashion,” said King. “They say cool, relevant, interesting stuff about the brand.

“We’re trying to embrace change as the market evolves,” said King. “It’s a cool, slightly off-the-wall maverick brand.” The idea, he added, is “to be a category leader.”

The two women’s shaving gels are fragrance-free and each is priced at $3.99. Queen of…Ta-da is meant to invigorate the skin with a paraben-free formula that features tea tree oil, while Queen of…Ooh La La, also paraben free, includes aloe vera to soothe the skin.

“We’re keeping them new, current and better,” King said of the women’s items, which were originally launched in the U.K. in 2001, then at Target in 2003.

The new women’s shave gel duo could combine to ring up $1 million in first-year retail sales in the U.S., according to industry sources.

At the moment, King of Shaves is doing roughly $35 million at retail globally, with about 10 percent of that coming from the firm’s women’s products.

King is targeting 30 percent year-on-year growth.

That, according to sources, would mean retail sales for the firm of more than $42 million globally this year and in excess of $70 million in 2011.

Aside from launches of shaving preparations, King said the business’ main growth drivers will be the rollout of a new four-blade razor called the Azor and expansion of the brand into Asia.

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