Male grooming companies Wilkinson Sword and King of Shaves are in talks to form a global partnership between their rival shaving ranges in a bid to challenge the dominance of shaving giant Gillette.
The joint venture is an unusual move for two rivals. The first results of the talks will see Wilkinson Sword’s Extreme 3 razor sold as part of a pack with the King of Shaves shaving gel range across the UK as well as in the US, where the UK-based King of Shaves has a growing presence.
The news comes as Wilkinson Sword prepares the next stage of its campaign against Gillette’s Mach 3 brand, with the launch of the first extension to the four-bladed Quattro razor, a different coloured variant.
Wilkinson Sword attacked the razor market with Quattro last year, but only accounts for about one per cent of the shaving preparations market. King of Shaves does not market a razor, but has a strong brand identity with shaving gels and foams.
A spokesman for King of Shaves confirms the partnership: “The promotion will see King of Shaves software powering the Wilkinson Sword hardware to give the world’s best shave.”
Gillette is to launch its latest innovation in September, with the arrival of the battery-powered M3 Power in the UK (MW January 15). Gillette is also targeting the wider male grooming market later this year with the launch of Gillette Complete (MW October 23, 2003).