Gillette scraps Complete launch

Gillette has dramatically shelved plans for the launch of its male skincare range Complete next year. The multi-million pound UK launch was planned for early next year but has been postponed indefinitely. The company is understood to have had doubts about the timing of the UK launch.

The decision marks a retreat by Gillette from a potential battle against L’Oréal for the UK male skincare market. L’Oréal plans to launch its first mass-market range of men’s skincare products in the first quarter of next year (MW July 22). Gillette was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

Beiersdorf’s Nivea for Men dominates the category taking more than two-thirds of sales.

Gillette launched the Complete brand in the US in March this year and was expected to bring the product range to the UK in the first quarter of 2005 (MW October 23, 2003).

One source close to the company says Gillette does not consider this to be the right time for the brand’s UK launch. He adds: “The UK consumer may not take to the masculine Gillette brand in skincare as easily as the US male.”

The Complete range includes a cleansing wash and a cleansing bar, shaving gels, an after-shave skin soother and a moisturiser.

Earlier this year, Gillette brought forward plans for the launch of battery-operated razor M3 Power, in a reaction to the threat of Wilkinson-Sword’s Quattro razor (MW January 15).

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