Gillette rolled out a new high-tech, premium razor Thursday, a souped-up version of Mach3Turbo with a battery-powered handle that sends electric pulses to the cartridge to make hairs stand on end.
Gillette says the M3Power system, featuring the “electric green” color most consumers associate with video games and other electronics, also features new blade-smoothing technology.
The product is the Boston-based company’s response to rival Schick-Wilkinson Sword’s “Quattro,” the first four-bladed razor, which hit shelves in September. Schick-Wilkinson is a unit of Energizer Holdings.
Rather than adding a fourth or even a fifth blade, Gillette elected to merge electric and traditional razors.
The shower-safe razor will be available in North America in May, retailing for $14.99, including two refills packages and a Duracell battery, which Gillette also makes. The Mach3Turbo currently retails for $8.99.
Blade prices will be $10.99 for a four-pack, a 15 percent premium over the old product.
“Extensive research shows that customers are willing to pay a substantial premium” for an improved shaving experience, said Peter Hoffman, president of the company’s blades and razors division.
Hoffman declined to give specific sales guidance but said Gillette expected comparable results to its rollout of Mach3Turbo, which generated $300 million in sales its first year, mostly coming from customers who were already using other Gillette products.
The company gave no timetable for an international rollout.