Los Angeles Business Journal

Dollar Shave Club Heads South

By Tom Dotan Tuesday, June 4, 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to reflect that the largest segment of Dollar Shave Club's members pay $6 a month for razors.

Dollar Shave Club had a hit with its eponymous service – a subscription for a set of low-priced razors delivered monthly. The company quietly followed its single-item success by adding a shaving cream product last month.

Now comes its third product, with which the company is focusing beyond the face by aiming below the belt. Dollar Shave Club today released "One Wipe Charlies," a self-described "butt wipe for men," gunning squarely at the $9 billion toilet paper industry.

The wipes are moist, durable and flushable towelettes that Michael Dubin, Dollar Shave Club's founder, chief executive and pitchman, said are simply a superior way to handle the dirty business.

"It's a cleaner way to do it, it's a more thorough way to do it," Dubin said.

Dubin and Co.'s tactic when communicating with customers has been to take a glib, humorous approach to a sensitive topic. The Club’s newest promotional video features Dubin explaining One Wipe Charlies while wandering through bathrooms, interacting with employees and referencing a costumed bear (one that, presumably, no longer does its business in the woods).

When Dollar Shave Club posted its introductory video in 2012 it racked up more than 10 million views and was a big part of the company’s initial success. Dollar Shave Club said it now has 200,000 members with the largest segment paying $6 a month for razors.

Despite the seeming obscurity, and, perhaps, ridiculousness of the newest offering, Dubin pointed to a company survey that found more than half of men already use a flushable wipe. The real campaign, he said, is not only to get men switching from toilet paper to wipes, but also to get the current users more comfortable displaying them.

In the course of the year, the company should be releasing four or five more products aimed at male grooming. It's all part of Dollar Shave Club's larger ambitions of being a major player in the bathroom – from nose to tail.

"We like to think we started with razors the way Amazon started with books," Dubin said.