A row has broken out between Gillette and Asda this week after the US razor giant publicly attacked the quality of Asda’s triple-blade razor, launched to undercut Gillette’s market-leading Mach 3.
Asda’s new Tri-Flex blades, made by the American Safety Razor Company (ASR), fit Gillette’s Sensor and Sensor Excel razor handles as well as its own. Although they do not fit those of the Mach 3, Asda claims its new product is as good as its rival.
At its launch, an Asda spokesman said: “Asda is proud to be the first company in the world to match the performance of the Mach 3 at an affordable price.” Tri-Flex costs less than Mach 3, retailing at &£3.99 for four blades and a handle compared with &£4.99 for the equivalent Mach 3 package.
According to Gillette, the Mach 3 is the number one men’s razor in every country where it is sold. It is the result of more than ten years’ research.
In a statement, Gillette says the Asda/ASR Tri-Flex “appears to be ASR’s moving blade cartridge technology (MBC) with a third blade. In extensive tests, ASR’s MBC twin-bladed product performance was considerably below that of Gillette Sensor and SensorExcel products. Further, due to its limited consumer appeal, this twin-bladed product has had very modest impact within North America and Europe, where it is marketed.”
Gillette says: “[We have] concerns not only about the claims being made for the new Asda/American Safety Razor Company razor, but also about other issues, which [we] are taking up directly with the retailer.”
An Asda spokeswoman says Gillette contacted the supermarket’s trading team at the end of last week and said the matter would be passed to its legal team. She says: “We are operating totally within out rights and stand by the Tri-Flex. Asda has always lobbied for luxury goods to be kept within the reach of the average shopper.”