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The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Procter & Gamble’s recent acquisition of high-end The Art of Shaving is a long-term strategic investment that will give it new experience in retailing as well as an ability to learn more about the male grooming business.

“Previous P&G ventures into the retail sector have been small, as the company tested the waters, and often pulled the plug on the experiment without expanding it,” the Enquirer writes. “A home laundry service started in 2001, for example, was ended, and a kitchen and cooking store called Culinary Sol closed in 2003. Compared to those short-lived experiments, buying The Art of Shaving is a quantum leap.”
KC's View:
The paper also notes that P&G’s interest in The Art of Shaving has one thing in common with previous retail efforts – they all have been up-market, as P&G works to better understand the premium end of the marketplace.

Which is interesting right now, since the company also is coming out with a down-market version of Tide that won’t have all the bells and whistles of its mainstream versions of Tide. It is an interesting strategy that could lead to a lot of opportunities (though I remain a little concerned that the new version of Tide could end up hurting the brand’s equity).