NPD: Women’s Electric Shavers Generating Sales Buzz

The women’s grooming appliances category as defined by The NPD Group, including products such as electric shavers and hair removal devices, enjoyed significant sales growth in the period from July 2013 to June 2014, the market research firm has reported. The electric shavers category has enjoyed the greatest surge in popularity, NPD pointed out, experiencing a unit sales increase of 22% in the 12-month period as compared to the year previous.

Although the resurgence of the women’s electric shaver category is visible across all markets in the United States, the South is leading sales growth, NPD pointed out.

Several categories of specialty hair removal devices continue to enjoy greater demand as well, NPD noted, even if sales momentum has slowed. Products such as bikini trimmers and personal pen-style trimmers that offer precise and multi-functional grooming are adding unit sales, the market research firm maintained. Sales volume for such products, as well as professional style in-home devices, gained slightly in the 12 months ended June 2014 on top of double-digit growth in the previous 12-month period. However, electric shavers constitute the only women’s grooming category that is experiencing dollar sales growth, up 10% versus the 12 months ended June 2013, as well as unit increases.

“Inundated with promises of being hair-free by way of a plethora of products and services on the market today, women are compelled to seek smooth skin,” said Debra Mednick, NPD executive director and home industry analyst, in announcing the firm’s findings. “However, the cost and inconvenience of repeated waxing, laser, or other hair removal services outside of their home may have women looking for simpler, more affordable options to help them achieve smooth, bare skin.”

At a time when the marketplace proffers more hair removal options than ever, the increased demand for in-home appliances may seem counter-intuitive, NPD asserted, but many women dislike the risk of a nick from a blade and/or cost of salon options, especially consumers under 45 who represent 60% of the market.

“An opportunity clearly exists to provide convenient in-home professional quality hair removal products that are safe and easy to use,” Mednick said. “The challenge is introducing products at higher price points to drive sustained category growth. Considering many alternative products and services are consumable, a durable product can more easily be touted as a good value, especially among consumers that are already more engaged with these products.”