Razor startup CEO aims to challenge Gillette
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