Proctor & Gamble Plans To Acquire DTC Disruptor Brand, Billie

On the latest episode of Today In Five:

Proctor & Gamble announced its plans to acquire DTC grooming startup, Billie. The acquisition is the latest in a string of P&G snapping up younger DTC brands and could help the company reach a younger audience of consumers. 

  • Lululemon named Nike veteran, Nikki Neuburger, as their first-ever Chief Brand Officer, effective January 20th. In addition to elevating the brand, she will be responsible for marketing, creative, communications and sustainability to, “drive the company’s global brand and storytelling initiatives.” According to a press release, she spent 14 years at Nike, most recently as global vice president of Nike Running, and also oversaw the direction of the Nike Membership division. For the past two years, she has served as the global head of marketing for Uber Eats. Lululemon’s CEO, Calvin McDonald said, “Her years of experience in the athletic industry, paired with her deep expertise in digital marketing, consumer insights, and brand creative, will be instrumental as we build upon our momentum and deliver on our Power of Three growth strategy.”
  • Online startup, Casper, filed for an initial public offering on Friday. According to the filing, the price range of the initial public offering price has yet to be determined. Casper reported $312.3 million in revenue for the nine months ending in September 2019, up 20% from the year-ago period, and $67.4 million in losses, a 4.9% increase from the previous year. The company also reported spending $423 million on marketing expenses from 2016 to 2019. In March 2019, Casper officially achieved unicorn status after a $100 million funding round placed the company’s valuation at $1.1 billion. While the company is steadily reporting losses, Casper maintains there is still a tremendous amount of growth in the category, with a Frost & Sullivan Assessment forecasting the sleep economy will hit $585 billion globally by 2024, with the U.S. representing $95 billion of those sales.
  • Target put to bed months of speculation on Wall Street that it would partner with Nike, adidas, or Under Armour in 2020 for a collection of athletic clothing. Instead, Target will do what it does best and utilize its best in class private label supply chain. Later this month, Target will debut a new athletic wear brand called All in Motion. The private label collection will include products like T-shirts, tank tops, pants, yoga mats, and more. Target says the apparel will feature technology comparable to premium activewear brands. The company also noted the majority of the products will boast sustainably sourced materials. Target believes All in Motion could be a billion-dollar sales brand within the first year.

P&G Looks To Acquire Another DTC Disruptor Brand

Proctor & Gamble announced its plans to acquire Billie, a direct-to-consumer maker of women’s shaving and personal care products. The acquisition will add to P&G’s growing number of female grooming brands that includes Venus and Braun and Joy, per an announcement. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

According to the announcement, the companies will combine consumer insights, digital capabilities, and innovation. Billie’s co-founders, Georgina Gooley and Jason Bravman, will continue to lead the company. Billie launched in 2017 as a subscription service that delivers a steady supply of women’s shaving products. Billie’s products include razors, shaving cream, body wash, and lotion. 

P&G’s planned acquisition of Billie is part of the CPG giant’s effort to expand its share of the grooming market, which was previously on the decline amid the emergence of DTC brands like Billie and consumer habits shifting toward body-positive brands that offer convenience. Billie can help P&G reach a younger audience of consumers. The shaving startup is a DTC disruptor like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s that took aim at P&G owned Gillette’s market dominance. By getting Billie into its fold, P&G could avoid the steady decline of market share experienced by Gillette.