Amazon is projected to account for nearly half of all U.S. ecommerce sales this year, but you still won’t find shaving and personal care brand Harry’s selling directly on the platform.
That’s because the brand already sells directly to consumers on its own site and didn’t think online retail was a huge unmet need when assessing opportunities for expansion, said Jeff Raider, co-founder and co-CEO of Harry’s, at the Code Commerce event in New York this week.
“We wanted to ensure people could find Harry’s in the stores where they were physically shopping—where a significant portion are shopping today,” he added.
To be fair, Raider said Amazon might be a channel Harry’s would consider, but he noted the brand already has a great experience on its own website, and when Harry’s was establishing partnerships with brick-and-mortar retailers Walmart and Target, the brand wanted to be where consumers were on their Sunday shopping trips already.
Raider, who also co-founded eyewear brand Warby Parker, said consumers want a highly curated environment for an in-depth purchase like glasses, but “at Harry’s, people know what they want—they come in, they come out, they get it quickly,” he added.
“Probably another [customer] pain point is shopping on another commerce platform and wanting to bundle with everything else, which is something we’d consider,” Raider said. “But the question is: How could Harry’s show up on Amazon [in a way] that would be thoughtful and on-brand for us and enable us to meet customer needs in unique and interesting ways?”
Raider declined to provide a specific breakdown of how much the brand sells direct versus wholesale, instead calling Harry’s “truly an omnichannel business” that seeks to be where customers want it.
Harry’s first foray in retail stores was a Father’s Day promotion at J. Crew, which led to other partnerships with specialty retailers like Barneys. “It was clear people wanted to find Harry’s in other places,” Raider said.
Now, it is in mass retail—and Raider noted there are lots of retailers beyond Target and Walmart who don’t stock Harry’s yet. And part of Harry’s mission is to grow the shaving category to drive trips to those stores.
In May, personal care company Edgewell acquired Harry’s for $1.37 billion. After the deal closes, Harry’s will take responsibility for Edgewell’s brands in the U.S., including Schick, Skintimate, Jack Black, Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic and Wet Ones.
Raider said Edgewell has a “family of brands that connects with people in different ways,” and it will help accelerate Harry’s original goal of building new products and brands for customers who are not being directly spoken to in the shaving space.
“Edgewell has exceptional product technology, if not the best product technology in the world, but their brands didn’t always speak to the quality of the products,” Raider said. “Our opportunity is to think about how to reposition those brands.”
Another challenge is to understand the people who buy the products and build products and brands for them.
“You need amazing product technology and opportunities to innovate and create new products people want to excite customers,” Raider said. “That’s why DTC is so helpful—you put things out in the world and quickly get signals of how they’re doing.”