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King of Shaves Co. Ltd.
Genre tolietries
Predecessor Knowledge & Merchandising Inc. Ltd.
Founded 2009
Founder(s) Will King
Headquarters Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England

King of Shaves Company, Ltd. is a British toiletries company headquartered in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England, with an office in New York City, and employing approximately 22 people. The King of Shaves brand was founded in 1993 by Will King. The company was spun-off from Knowledge & Merchandising Inc. Ltd. in 2009.

Contents

History

Will King, who began King of Shaves, was made redundant in the early 1990s from his job with the marketing agency Fountainhead Communications. He had always experienced problems with shaving, and in 1992 he created a shaving oil product that eased the pain, rash and burn he experience during shaving. King approached Harrods, the London department store, and secured the personal agreement of owner Mohamed Al-Fayed to stock the new product. He then hand-filled 9,600 bottles in his kitchen, using a "gunk pump" that dispensed 2 millilitres (7.1×10−5 oz) per stroke, supplied to him by a friend in the yacht building industry.

At first Harrods in Knightsbridge sold one bottle of King's shaving oil every two weeks, and the company's first year sales (1993-4) were £300. King incorporated KMI (Knowledge & Merchandising Inc. Ltd.) on April 13, 1993. Until June 1, 2009, it was this company which owned the King of Shaves brand, along with other "premium-mass" toiletries brands. Initially running the company from his home in Chalfont St. Giles, King was joined by Herbie Dayal, a founding shareholder, as full-time Chairman in 1995, as well as Andy Hill, their first employee, now Managing Director. King described KMI as a "boutique Procter & Gamble."

As of 2008, the King of Shaves brand is stocked in approximately 30,000 stores worldwide including the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South America, and the company estimates its annual (group) wholesale turnover to be £25 million in 2008 (£13.9 million in 2007).

In 2009, The King of Shaves Company Ltd. was spun off from KMI as part of a £4m deal, and the company appointed Atul Sharma as CFO and Chris Outram as Non-Executive Chairman of both The King of Shaves Company Ltd. & KMI, now KMI Brands Ltd.. The company also won awards including the CBI/Real Business "Growing Business" Company of the Year, the T-Mobile/Growing Business Magazine "Overall fast growth company of the year" and King was a winner in the London & South East Region finals of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

On June 22, 2009, the company announced a "Shaving Bond" issue of up to five thousand £1,000 non-transferable and non-convertible bonds, which was widely reported in the press as being a unique and innovative way to potentially raise money from "up to 5,000 brand enthusiasts. The issue was overseen by FSA regulated accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward with legal advice provided by Memery Crystal LLP.[1]

Brands

Individual King of Shaves brands include KOS.PRO, K2, XCD, and KU, young men's skincare, as well as King of Shaves Woman. According to IRI, the brand was the second largest selling shaving preparations brand by value in the UK to the end of May 2008.

The company now owns, licenses and promotes other brands in the male and female grooming markets including Ted Baker, fine fragrances & premium toiletries, Fish and AngelFish, cult hairstyling lines for men & women, Patently Obvious, a green "clean without compromise" toiletries and skincare line, and in 2007 licensed Hed Kandi Beauty from Ministry of Sound. In 2008, it also purchased Floraroma Ltd. from Joanne Sinclair (see below).

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Razors and blades

The company launched its first system razor, the Azor, under the King of Shaves brand, in June 2008. Described as a "hybrid synergy" system razor, designed to combine the best of system razors and disposable razors. It features an internationally patented "Bendology Technology" elastomer "living" or "active" hinge to "positively push" the cartridge against the skin for a closer, more comfortable shave. The system's skin pre-tensioner (or "beard bumper") is integrated into the handle, and thus is not thrown away unnecessarily with the cartridge, and the handle comes with three "Endurium" coated four bladed replacement cartridge.

The company deliberately took the decision to launch a razor with fewer blades than Gillette's Fusion, which has five blades, as it believes there was no proven shaving benefit with any more than four blades. Founder King has been quoted as wanting to "dial down the blade count - we're not in a blade count arms race". He also coined the phrase "ecoptimised" meaning that the way the Azor is made, uses as little energy, material and resource as possible. Using a car analogy, he describes the Azor as a "Toyota Prius" or "Tesla" and Gillette's Fusion as a "GM Hummer". Launching the Azor into the UK market during the UK's economic slowdown he believes will position the brand as one which delivers "more to you, not to them."

Sales of the King of Shaves Azor system razor handle were expected to have achieved 10% market share by end of June 2009. The company launched the Azor in Japan with further launches in the US, Brazil (July 2009) and South Africa (October 2009).

List of brands

  • King of Shaves – shaving and skincare for men
  • King of Shaves –Woman shaving
  • King of Deos – deodorant for men and women
  • KOS.PRO – professional range of styling, shave and skin care products for men only available from salons and barbers
  • KOS K2 – shaving and skincare for men
  • KOS XCD – shaving and skincare for men
  • Patently Obvious – antibacterial, biodegradable personal cleaning products
  • Ted Baker Fine Fragrances – fragrances and skincare for men and women
  • Ted Baker Bodywear – hair, skin and body care for men and women
  • Fish Hair Styling – hair care for men
  • Angelfish – hair care and styling for women
  • Hed Styling – hair care for men
  • KU – shaving and skincare for teenagers and young men

Mergers and acquisitions

In March 2008 KMI acquired the entire issued share capital of Floraroma Ltd., which owns a number of primarily women's toiletries brands including Phil Smith, Delicious Beauty, Dead Sea Source, Little Me, Derma-Mum and Floracologie. In October 2009, KMI acquired the Naked skincare brand.

Sponsorships

King of Shaves sponsored John Terry, England and Chelsea football (soccer) captain from April 2006 to June 2008, who was featured in a 2006 UK television advertisement for the brand; as well as Shelley Rudman, Olympic skeleton silver medalist, Britain's only medalist at the 2006 winter games. Rudman's sponsorship deal runs through the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. King of Shaves also sponsored Kristan Bromley, another British skeleton athlete, for two years in the build-up to the 2006 games.

The Harlequins rugby union club announced a sponsorship deal with King of Shaves in September 2009.[2]

King of Shaves also sponsored a P1 Offshore Powerboat for the 2006-2007 season. Piloted by James Sheppard and Craig Wilson, the King of Shaves powerboat won the World title in that season. Sheppard had also won the Honda F4 Offshore Powerboat Championships partnered by navigator Neil Sinclair in 2001,2002, 2003 & 2004.

The company also sponsors a Young Blades, a grass-roots programme for young sports people in the UK, it was a Platinum Sponsor of the Gipsy Moth IV project, between 1998-2000 and 2006-2008 it was the primary sponsor of Cowes Dinghy Week, and also funds local community-based initiatives.

References

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.shavingbond.com
  2. ^ Harlequin F.C. (2009-09-08). "Quins and King of Shaves Join Forces". Press release. http://www.union.quins.co.uk/news/10238.php. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 

Sources

External links


The King of Shaves Company Ltd.
Industry Shaving and Skincare
Genre Shaving, skincare, razors, blades and tolietries
Predecessor Knowledge & Merchandising Inc. Ltd.
Founded 1993 (KMI), 2009 (KOS Co)
Founder(s) Will King
Headquarters Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Area served UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan
Key people Will King, Hiten Dayal, Andy Hill, Tim Wright, Chris Outram, Paul Adrian, Phil Spademan, Atul Sharma, Karen Brookes, Simon Watson.
Products King of Shaves, Azor and Queen Of...
Production output Mainly in UK
Owner(s) Private shareholders
Employees 22 (approx)
Website http://www.shave.com

The King of Shaves Company, Ltd. is a British toiletries company headquartered in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, with an office in New York City, and employing approximately 22 people. The King of Shaves brand was founded in 1993 by Will King. The company was spun off from Knowledge & Merchandising Inc. Ltd. in May 2009.

Contents

History

Will King, who began King of Shaves[1], was made redundant in the early 1990s from his job with the marketing agency Fountainhead Communications. He had always experienced problems with shaving, and in 1992 he created a shaving oil product that eased the pain, rash and burn he experience during shaving. King approached Harrods, the London department store, and secured the personal agreement of owner Mohamed Al-Fayed to stock the new product. He then hand-filled 9,600 bottles in his kitchen, using a "gunk pump" that dispensed 2 millilitres (7.1×10−5 oz) per stroke, supplied to him by a friend in the yacht building industry.

At first Harrods in Knightsbridge sold one bottle of King's Shaving Oil every two weeks, and the company's first year sales (1993-4) were £300. Will King incorporated KMI (Knowledge & Merchandising Inc. Ltd.) on April 13, 1993. Until June 1, 2009, it was this company which owned the King of Shaves brand, along with other "premium mass" toiletries brands. Initially running the company from his home in Chalfont St. Giles, Will King was joined by Herbie Dayal, a founding shareholder, as full-time Chairman in 1995, as well as Andy Hill, their first employee, now Managing Director. Will King described KMI as a "boutique Procter & Gamble."

In 2009, The King of Shaves Company Ltd. was demerged from KMI [2][3], and the company appointed Atul Sharma as CFO and Chris Outram[4] as Non-Executive Chairman of both The King of Shaves Company Ltd. and KMI (now KMI Brands Ltd). The company also won awards including the CBI/Real Business "Growing Business" Company of the Year, the T-Mobile/Growing Business Magazine "Overall fast growth company of the year" and King was a winner in the London & South East Region finals of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

The King of Shaves brand is now stocked in approximately 30,000 stores worldwide including the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa. The company estimates its annual (group) wholesale turnover to be £25 million in 2008[5] (up from £13.9 million in 2007[6]).

On June 22, 2009, the company announced a "Shaving Bond"[7] issue of up to five thousand £1,000 non-transferable and non-convertible bonds, which was reported in the press[8][9][10][11] and described by Will King as being an "innovative way to potentially raise money from up to 5,000 brand enthusiasts". The issue was overseen by FSA regulated accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward with legal advice provided by Memery Crystal LLP.[12]

On 15 April 2010, King of Shaves moved its UK headquarters from Chesham to Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.

Brands

Individual King of Shaves brands have included[13] KOS.PRO, K2, XCD, and KU as well as King of Shaves Woman (now superseded by a range called Queen Of). According to IRI (52 weeks to 17 April 2010), the brand is the third largest selling shaving preparations brand by value in the UK (excluding own label) behind Gillette and Nivea.

Before King of Shaves de-merged from KMI, it licensed and promoted other brands in the male and female grooming markets including Ted Baker fine fragrances & premium toiletries and Fish and AngelFish styling products, it also purchased Floraroma Ltd. from Joanne Sinclair (see below).

Razors and blades

The company launched its first system razor, the Azor, under the King of Shaves brand, in June 2008. Described as a "hybrid synergy" system razor, designed to combine the best of system razors and disposable razors. It features an internationally patented "Bendology Technology" elastomer "living" or "active" hinge to "positively push" the cartridge against the skin for a closer, more comfortable shave. The system's skin pre-tensioner (or "beard bumper") is integrated into the handle, and thus is not thrown away unnecessarily with the cartridge, and the handle comes with three "Endurium" coated four bladed replacement cartridges.

The company deliberately took the decision to launch a razor with fewer blades than Gillette's Fusion, which has five blades, as it believes there was no proven shaving benefit with any more than four blades. Founder Will King has been quoted as wanting to "dial down the blade count - we're not in a blade count arms race". He also coined the phrase "ecoptimised" meaning that the way the Azor is made, uses as little energy, material and resource as possible.

The Azor has got generally positive comments from the press [14] and according to IRI over 500,000 handles were sold in the last year (18 April 2009 to 17 April 2010) in the UK.

The company launched the Azor in Japan with further launches in the US (August 2009), Brazil (July 2009), South Africa (October 2009) and Australia (May 2010).

List of brands

  • King of Shaves – shaving and skincare for men
  • Queen Of... – shaving and skincare for women
  • Azor – system razors and blades

Mergers and acquisitions

In March 2008 KMI acquired the entire issued share capital of Floraroma Ltd., which owns a number of primarily women's toiletries brands including Phil Smith, Delicious Beauty, Dead Sea Source, Little Me, Derma-Mum and Floracologie. In October 2009, KMI acquired the Naked skincare brand.[15]

Criticism

Financial Investment Offer

In 2009 the company offered savings bonds with 6%pa interest rate to consumers. These savings bonds will rely on the company's growth in order to fund the returns. This scheme was not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and at the time of application consumers were unable to get reports on how well the company was performing.[16][17]

However the bond issue did raise over £500,000 according to Will King's blog.[18]

Sponsorships

King of Shaves sponsored John Terry, England and Chelsea football (soccer) captain from April 2006 to June 2008, who was featured in a 2006 UK television advertisement for the brand; as well as Shelley Rudman, Olympic skeleton silver medalist, Britain's only medalist at the 2006 winter games. Rudman's sponsorship deal ran through the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. King of Shaves also sponsored Kristan Bromley, another British skeleton athlete, for two years in the build-up to the 2006 games.

The Harlequins rugby union club announced a sponsorship deal with King of Shaves in September 2009.[19]

King of Shaves also sponsored a P1 Offshore Powerboat for the 2006-2007 season.[20] Piloted by James Sheppard and Craig Wilson, the King of Shaves powerboat won the World title in that season. Sheppard had also won the Honda F4 Offshore Powerboat Championships partnered by navigator Neil Sinclair in 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004.

The company also sponsored Young Blades[21], a grass-roots programme for young sports people in the UK, it was a Platinum Sponsor of the Gipsy Moth IV project, between 1998–2000 and 2006-2008 it was the primary sponsor of Cowes Dinghy Week[22], and also funded local community-based initiatives.

References

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.thekingofshavescompany.com/corporate/pages/kos_shaving/KOS_Brand.htm
  2. ^ http://www.growingbusiness.co.uk/king-of-shaves-gears-up-for-global-expansion.html
  3. ^ http://www.memerycrystal.com/Articles/23-06-2009/Memery-Crystal-Advises-New-Client-King-of-Shaves-on-Demerger-from-Knowledge-and-Merchandising-Inc.aspx
  4. ^ http://www.occstrategy.com/node/389
  5. ^ http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/markets/article.html?in_article_id=440580&in_page_id=3
  6. ^ Bentley, Diana. "On track for top entrepreneurs prize". The Times (London). http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/entrepreneur/article2993268.ece. 
  7. ^ http://www.thekingofshavescompany.com/corporate/pages/uk/bond_no1.htm
  8. ^ "Business big shot Will King King of Shaves". The Times (London). 2009-06-23. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6557672.ece. 
  9. ^ http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/King-Of-Shaves-Tries-To-Raise-5-Million-Pounds-By-Issuing-Bonds-To-Customers/Article/200906415315203?lpos=Business_First_Buisness_Article_Teaser_Region_2&lid=ARTICLE_15315203_King_Of_Shaves_Tries_To_Raise_5_Million_Pounds_By_Issuing_Bonds_To_Customers
  10. ^ http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/investing/article.html?in_article_id=487867&in_page_id=166&position=moretopstories
  11. ^ http://www.director.co.uk/ONLINE/2009/06_09_will_king.html
  12. ^ http://www.memerycrystal.com/uploaded/Articles/other%20files/Website%20-%20The%20Lawyer%20-%20King%20of%20Shaves.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.thekingofshavescompany.com/corporate/pages/kos_shaving/KOS_Brand.htm
  14. ^ http://www.shave.com/kos/azoraward/default.aspx
  15. ^ http://www.kmibrands.com/news/kmi_gets_a_new_look?from_page=1
  16. ^ JAMES CONEY (July 1, 2009). "WARNING OVER RISKY 'SHAVING BOND'". DAILY MAIL. http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T9074529913&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=26&resultsUrlKey=29_T9074529925&cisb=22_T9074529924&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=138794&docNo=43. Retrieved April 13, 2010. "But despite being advertised as a savings bond, this scheme actually invests in the King of Shaves company; specifically for the company's marketing. It is NOT a savings account. Essentially, the Shaving Bond is a corporate bond -- but one issued for a non-listed company. Whether you get a return depends on the health of this firm. Your money is locked away for three years. Every six months the company says it will pay you 3pc 'interest' -- which you will have to declare to the taxman." 
  17. ^ Patrick Hosking (June 27, 2009). "Sweeney Todd would blush". The Times. http://www.lexisnexis.com/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T9074529913&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=26&resultsUrlKey=29_T9074529925&cisb=22_T9074529924&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=10939&docNo=44. Retrieved April 13, 2010. "In the offer literature, there are risk warnings but no information on the history of the company, no profit and loss account, no balance sheet, and no details on how the bonds would rank in the event of a winding-up. The company has no track record, having only recently been demerged from a larger business. According to Mr King, it hasn't even yet been decided how much bank finance should be apportioned to the new business. Alas, no rational investor could possibly invest in the bonds on the basis of such sparse data. The upside may be a chunky 6 per cent income (for comparison, mainstream bank three-year bonds now yield about 4 per cent), but the downside is that investors are locked in for three years. They could also lose every neck-stinging penny if King of Shaves were to fail." 
  18. ^ http://blogs.shave.com/king/2009/08/king_of_shaves_shaving_bond_is.html
  19. ^ Harlequin F.C. (2009-09-08). "Quins and King of Shaves Join Forces". Press release. http://www.union.quins.co.uk/news/10238.php. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  20. ^ http://www.thekingofshavescompany.com/corporate/pages/KOSPowerboat/index.htm
  21. ^ http://www.thekingofshavescompany.com/corporate/pages/YoungBlades/Young_Blades.htm
  22. ^ http://www.thekingofshavescompany.com/corporate/pages/sailing/Sailing_Forward.htm

Sources

External links


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