Foods and cosmetics giant Unilever has signed an agreement to purchase California-based Dollar Shave Club, specialising in online sales of shaving blades and skin care products.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Venice, California, Dollar Shave Club (DSC) has grown into a full male grooming business that has transformed the shaving category with its lifestyle brand empowering 3.2 million members,” said Unilever in a release.

DSC is an online subscription service of shaving blades and skin care...

DSC is an online subscription service of shaving blades and skin care products. Photo: © Dollar Shave Club

Today, DSC’s product and brand range extends far beyond shaving to include Wanderer men’s personal wash products, Big Cloud men’s skin care products, Boogies hair styling products, and One Wipe Charlies daily wipes.

In 2015, DSC had turnover of US$152 million (EUR 152 million) and, according to Unilever, is on track to exceed US$200 million in turnover in 2016. Although available only in the United States, Australia and Canada, DSC already has a higher share of the global men’s shaving market than Unilever, according to data from Euromonitor International.

Dollar Shave Club is an innovative and disruptive male grooming brand with incredibly deep connections to its diverse and highly engaged consumers,” said Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever North America.

Unilever, which also pays a high interest in DSC’s “unique consumer and data insights,” plan to develop the brand globally. However, Unilever will have a long way to go before challenging the global dominance of Proctor & Gamble and its Gillette brand in the men’s razor segment, however. According to Euromonitor International data, Proctor & Gamble held 56 percent of the nearly US$15 billion global men’s shaving market last year, compared to 0.9 percent for Dollar Shave Club and 0.5 percent for Unilever. In the US, Dollar Shave Club was in fourth place last year with US$128 million in sales, compared to over US$1.6 billion for Gillette.

Dollar Shave Club's subscription products © Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club’s subscription products © Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin will continue to serve as CEO.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed however several sources mention a price of US$ 1 billion.