Expensive razor blade market facing new competition

(WJLA) - A cursory glance at the aisles where stores stock shaving razors reveals something that's not new - only a few big-name companies have cornered the market.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the price of razors and blades are extremely high. Customers typically can spend upwards of $20 to $30 for blades at a time.

They're so expensive that many stores lock them up so that shoppers don't steal them. And, according to marketing experts, the brand itself is what you're paying for.

"We're paying for NFL sponsorships, we're paying for pro athlete sponsorships and we're paying for celebrity sponsorships," marketing strategist Geoff Livingston says.

Luckily for the shaver, though, competition is emerging. One of those new companies, Dollar Shave Club, exploded in popularity after releasing an online commercial that went viral.

Dollar Shave Club's base model sells five razors for just $1 per month plus shipping. On the other end of the spectrum, day spas like The Art of Shaving in Northwest D.C. treat men to an old-fashioned straight razor.

"A lot of guys like to come in here at least once a week," Ameena Kazem of The Art of Shaving says, noting that for many customers, their visit actually saves them money.