Personal care company Wilkinson Sword is understood to be preparing to launch a four-blade razor in the UK by the end of the year.
One industry insider predicts that the razor, known as “Quatro”, could have as great an impact on the male grooming market as Gillette’s three-blade Mach 3, which launched in 1997.
Quatro is expected to go on sale in the US in September, with the UK launch pencilled in for later in the year. A US spokeswoman for the company refuses to comment on the launch, although she admits that it is possible that “a men’s product would be launched in the fall”. The company is known as Schick-Wilkinson Sword in the US.
Another insider describes the product as using a four-blade system to give a closer shave than Mach 3. He adds: “The UK is a big wet-shaving market, so Schick will bring it over as soon as possible.”
J Walter Thompson handles creative advertising for the Wilkinson Sword brand, with media buying by Mediaedge:CIA. The company was bought by battery manufacturer Energizer in March.
Mach 3 has become the UK’s leading razor brand. The range was extended this year with Mach 3 Turbo, which Gillette says has beaten sales targets. The three-blade technology was innovative at the time of its launch, which was backed by a &£625m global advertising spend.
A spokesman for Gillette says that the company is comfortable that its product range is strong enough to maintain its position against competitors. The next UK launch from Gillette is expected to be Sensor 3, a three-bladed disposable razor already on sale in the US.