King of Shaves

Shaving is an unpleasant daily chore, I guess I could just not shave but full facial beards aren’t in fashion and the trimmed pubic arrangements that some men adorn their faces with look naff and you still need to shave.

Some days it feels like I rubbed the stubble off with a belt sander. I’ve tried everything going, eagerly trying every new blade on the market and every new gel, cream, oil etc. In the end I stuck with the older style Sensor Gillette blades as the newer ones with multiple blades seemed to be worse, and the vibrating types added nothing (except giving Gillette’s parent company more battery sales).

Then I discovered King of Shaves products. I picked some up in the UK and they were great, the shaving oil is very good, but the gel products seem to be even better. The pre and after shave range was very good and these seem to make the most difference. Fortunately I got a bit of a supply, topping up in Australia earlier in the year, but now it’s all run out and you can’t get the full range here.

This is because of the supermarket policy about how much shelf space they will devote to shaving products. The two major supermarket chains in NZ have allocated limited space to shaving products (and without regular supermarket business no dry goods importer can survive long) and most of this space is given over to products from Proctor & Gamble (who own Gillette). This leaves King of Shaves with about three product spaces – enough for a couple of the base level oils and a shave gel.

This isn’t good enough. The problem with the duopoly that we have with supermarkets is that they are more focused on their ‘rebates’ than with product variety, and I’m guessing that P&G offer the most lucrative rebates.

King of Shaves (in my opinion) make much better shaving products (gels, oils and creams) than Gillette. The range covers a variety of different skin types and personal preferences. The products are not cheap, so I would have thought that they offered supermarkets a chance to up sell. If the supermarkets can devote a huge space to a myriad of different blades, why not other shaving products?

If you can get your hands on them (the top end supermarkets offer a sligthly better range) I highly recommend the ‘Kinexium ST Shaving Oil’ over the ‘AlphaOil Shaving Oil’, or try the ‘AlphaGlide ALS Shaving Gel’ or ‘MagnaGel MME Shaving Gel’.

You’ll have to wait for the ‘XCD Primer Pre Shave Face Wash’, and ‘K-BLM Soothing Balm’ both of which are excellent, because so far no retailer thinks it’s important to carry them.

Bizarrely I’ve found a bigger range in Christchurch than in Auckland!

I’ve talked to the local agent and until they can get the supermarkets to give them more space they can’t economically import them.

Next time you’re overseas check out the range, or even better, start asking your supermarket manager to stock them – this does work, a few people asking for a product will get results.



  1. July 28th, 2008

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