Lately we’ve had a lot of emails concerning our departure from Walgreens. It’s true; as of February 3rd we will no longer be supplying HeadBlade products to Walgreens nationwide.
This change has been in the works for a while and the new direction makes sense, for us and for you, as I’ll explain below.
Since we came out with the original HeadBlade in 1999 a lot has changed with retail and how consumers buy products. When we first launched we sold our products online at HeadBlade.com and in select stores here in the Los Angeles area.
Our mission was, and still is, to get our products in the hands of headshavers. Eighteen years ago the only option was to go into mass retail. Even though HeadBlade had already been named by Time Magazine as one of the “Ten Best Designs” in the world in 2000, other magazines were reluctant to cover a product that was only available online. They referred to companies like HeadBlade as “dotcoms.” There was no choice; we had to get on store shelves.
Because only about 4% of men keep their heads shaved, both the retailers and our distributors understood we would not have the ‘turns,’ or sales, of a more general item. Retailers like us because we’re a destination item; if the consumer knows they can only get HeadBlade from their store, the consumer will buy their other products during the same visit. It worked fairly well for many years. We were in Rite Aid for over a decade; the same with Walgreens. We stocked 1,000 Walmart stores at one point, and have been in CVS twice.
Then what changed?
Well, you did, for starters.
You started buying more items online. Amazon Prime happened. Ebay got popular. Subscription sites sprouted up from the ground.
And our wholesalers also changed. Originally contracted to supply HeadBlade products to small independently run retailers, our distributors were diverting product, selling it online, and undercutting our prices.
The landscape evolved. The lines got blurred; and being in retail no longer meant offline or brick and mortar. There are some very large companies that only sell online; their products never seeing a store shelf.
So we made the pivot.
Although we currently sell direct to CVS, Giant Eagle, and a couple of mid-size chains, we’re not opening up any new accounts. Other than these existing accounts, we’re gearing up to be online only. We have a subscription Shave Plan that has free shipping. You can also buy HeadBlade products on Ebay, Amazon and, if you have PRIME, you’ll also get free shipping.
Which brings me to my last point.
“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.” —Pauline R. Kezer
Our company consists of five employees, all whom are dedicated to our products and our customers. We’re a team and we consider you part of it. We want to grow. And we’re going to grow. Over the past two years we have been developing a leg shaver for women. This has been on the drawing board for almost a decade and, in 2015, while designing the MOTO, we started the process for the new women’s line.
We’ve incorporated a lot of HeadBlade IP and new technology and expanded on it. We’ve engineered an all-new blade system; no more adapters. Just push a button and the blade comes out. And it’s simple to reload the next blade.
In a few weeks we’ll launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the new razor. We’ll promote it via our site and social media. We’ll include you because hopefully you know a woman or two who would love to experience great design as it relates to getting silky smooth legs with ease.
And, as the paradigm shifts, we’ll be able to implement many of these improvements into future HeadBlades. In 2019 you’ll be able to load, and unload, your HeadBlade blade cartridge with ease. The women’s razor is going to lead the way, and we need your help.
You’ll see all of this on Monday, February 12th when we officially ‘unveil’ the new razor. If you’re signed up for the HeadBlade newsletter you’ll see it before then.
Thanks again for your continued support of HeadBlade.
Owner and Founder