Dollar Shave Club has amassed 200,000 subscribers since its launch in March 2012 by delivering cheap, replenishing supplies of razor blades starting at $1 a month, plus shipping.
But the members-only e-commerce service's newest product isn't for shaving—it's for wiping.
If you got, say, chocolate on your hands, would you wipe it off with a dry napkin? Of course not. That's the logic behind Dollar Shave Club's new One Wipe Charlies, flushable, biodegradable butt wipes for men. The moist towelettes come in packs of 40 for $4. They are the company's first non-shave product, and the second non-razor item for sale in addition to the Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter it began selling in April. Both the wipes and the shave butter can be added as one-time purchases to a subscriber's monthly box of cartridges.
"Our vision has always been to own the bathroom," says CEO Michael Dubin. "If you're starting in the bathroom, you have to provide a solution for everything that happens there. That includes using the bathroom."
Though butt wipes may seem unorthodox for a company that built a business around selling products for your face, Dubin says toilet paper products, including flushable wipes, make up a $9 billion market—or $3 billion more than the men’s shaving and grooming market. ("That makes sense," he says. "Everyone wipes their butt—or so you hope—but not everybody shaves.") In a third-party survey of 1,000 non-members, Dollar Shave found more than half of participants said they have used flushable wipes, while 16% reported using only wipes.
Dubin says Dollar Shave is looking to release several more a la carte products this year, as well as an app that will let you drag-and-drop any items you want to add to your box. He adds that the initiative to diversify Dollar Shave's products has always been his plan, and wasn't inspired by the launch of competitor businesses such as Harry's, the new boutique shaving business cofounded by a Warby Parker founder.
"We wanted to make a bold statement with our 'own the bathroom' strategy that we want to service your face, your ass, and everything in between," says Dubin, who has raised $10.9 million to date in funding from prestigious investors such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, and Venrock. "Leaving the bathroom is not currently on our radar."
[Image: Flickr user Sharon Mollerus]