Ra­zor startup CEO aims to chal­lenge Gil­lette

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE - By Jhoo Dong-chan [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

A 37-year-old Seoulite sur­named Song re­placed his Gil­lette ra­zor re­cently with one from a do­mes­tic startup. He had used Gil­lette ra­zors for nearly 20 years, but de­cided re­cently to start us­ing the Wisely ra­zor for its rea­son­able price.

“Gil­lette ra­zors them­selves are af­ford­able. How Gil­lette re­ally makes a profit is by sell­ing ra­zor blades at re­ally ex­pen­sive prices,” Song said.

“I had no op­tions but to buy Gil­lette prod­ucts any­way be­cause it was pretty much the only ra­zor brand avail­able on the mar­ket. Things have changed now since Wisely in­tro­duced a new ra­zor lineup at rea­son­able prices.”

Wisely CEO Kim Dong-wook said he started the ra­zor startup to chal­lenge Gil­lette’s mo­nop­o­lis­tic mar­ket po­si­tion.

“Gil­lette’s global mar­ket share stood at around 70 per­cent. It also ac­counts for about 70 per­cent in Korea as well,” he said.

Cus­tomers can buy a ra­zor and two ra­zor blades for 8,900 won ($7.68) on­line. This in­cludes the ship­ping fee.

Wisely also de­liv­ers ra­zor blades on a reg­u­lar ba­sis as per cus­tomer re­quest. Most cus­tomers re­port­edly re­ceive four blades ev­ery three months. This only costs 8,900 won for the four blades.

The price is nearly one third of that of Gil­lette blades.

De­spite be­ing in­ex­pen­sive, Kim said the qual­ity of Wisely ra­zor blades is as good as that of global ra­zor brands.

“Wisely held an ex­clu­sive deal with a Ger­man ra­zor blade maker. This com­pany has pro­duced ra­zor blades for more than 100 years,” Kim said.

Ac­cord­ing to on­line mar­ket re­searcher Open Sur­vey, 76.6 per­cent of Korean men said they use Gil­lette ra­zors. Dorco and Schick ac­counted for about 33.2 per­cent and 16.6 per­cent re­spec­tively as of the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Wisely took the fourth po­si­tion with a 6.2 per­cent share.

Kim said Wisely plans to in­tro­duce its sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion ra­zor blade prod­uct in Fe­bru­ary.

“Wisely aims to ex­pand its busi­ness bound­aries into other con­sumer goods. We will in­tro­duce other con­sumer goods with rea­son­able prices in the fu­ture,” Kim said.

Wisely CEO Kim Dong-wook

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