Of course they didn't "need" to reduce prices to compete with DE competitors 1904-21 but they certainly could have expanded their market among SE and straight users (including Weck and Durham) had they done so, and that i read as the author's point.Instead they locked in a much smaller universe of $5 razor consumers.Interesting point, but the author seemingly forgets that between 1904-21 Gillette was the only company which could legaly sell “thin and flexible” blades. They were completely aware that they didn’t need to lower prices (even reduced the number of blades per set) and when someone copied the blade and or razor, they went to court and won.
The blade and business strategy was launched in 1921 exactly when the patents expired with the dirt cheap Brownie and other sets, or free razors packed together with gum/toothpaste/soap/jeans whatever.
Iirc Gillette sold the post 1921 low priced sets cheaper than any competing business.
The New improved was never intended for the masses, it was a luxury line, just like the later De luxe.
Yes like the original Gillette razor the New Improved market was limited by its price to the luxury market and the Old Type was mostly responsible for razor revenues 1921-29. My point was simply that it was 1930 before Gillette designed a $1 razor (and later before they entered the cheap blade market that ate up their market share). Obviously they had the Old Type after 1921 but it was not designed to be sold at that price it was essentially their $5 razor sold at discount due to the engineering costs having been long amortized. The Brownie sets were directly competing against nicely packaged sets from ASR at comparable or less cost ($.49-.75)
Gillette set pricing after 1921 and especially after 1930 didn't persuade consumers to subsequently buy Gillette replacement blades, Gillette was getting killed in the US by cheap blade competition all through the decade with substantially all their profit coming from non-US operations.
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