Unilever has acquired American start-up Dollar Shave Club, which has a subscription-based business model for shaving and toilet products. No fee was disclosed, but sources indicate it may be some 900 million euro.
Compete with P&G
Dollar Shave Club currently has 3.2 million members and a 152 million dollar (140 million euro) turnover. The goal is to achieve turnover growth to 200 million dollar (180 million euro) this year alone, although that does not mean the company is profitable yet. Dollar Shave Club, founded in 2012, already grabbed an important piece of the American market, with a 5 % market share in 2015.
The Dollar Shave Club acquisition is Unilever's way to compete with Procter & Gamble, which owns Gilette. Its competitor has consistently lost market share from 2010 (71 %) to 2015 (59 %). On top of that, Unilever gains access to a wealth of information, because Dollar Shave Club has a direct link to the actual consumer.
Despite the Unilever acquisition, founder and CEO Michael Dubin will stay on as CEO. He has also been given the promise that Dollar Shave Club will keep its autonomy, despite being part of a large concern.