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Week ending July 21st: Dollar Shave Club in four charts


The orange line represents non-store (online) retailers. The blue line represents total retail sales (online and store).

This shows you e-commerce retail sales as a precent of total retail sales.

And this….

And then this.

Michael Dubin started Dollar Shave Club in 2012. You pay $1 per month (plus shipping) for fresh blades to show up to your door. Sales tripled from 2013 to 2014 to $65 million. Sales then grew to $152 million in 2015 and are on track to grow to $200 million this year.

That pretty much sums up this last chart. Online retailers are growing sales faster than companies that launched before “online” was a huge thing.

It’s only the beginning.

P&G was “blindsided” by DSC’s success. DSC not only stole customers away from P&G’s Gillette razors, but they built an entire men’s grooming line that is so appealing it even made me wish I had to shave my face.

So what does P&G do? They just launched their own monthly membership called Tide Wash Club that sends you Tide pods every month. Please note that this new service is just a “test,” and that’s good because it probably won’t work.

At what point do you just put a fork in it and admit that e-commerece direct-to-consumer companies can do something you can’t. “At this point!,” Unilever said. “We’ll take it, for one billi.”

Original venture capital companies who invested in DSC say they’ll earn a 10x return on their investment.

There will be more. Just wait. Retail-tech (e-commerece direct-to-consumer) and financial-tech (online direct to consumer) are the most ripe acquisition targets in my mind.


In a semi-intoxicated rant a few months ago (ok fine I had 2 beers on a Tuesday at happy hour) I mentioned Goldman Sachs’s new online high interest savings account. For some reason everyone was excited about this new high interest rate Goldman was offering, which is really no different than other banks, which I pointed out after my two beer Tuesday episode.

Fast forward two months to now and Goldman Sachs announces their biggest layoffs since the financial crisis. Something about needing to slim down their $10 billion in expenses each year and cost cutting via firing people (vs. paying them less indefinitely) always seems like the better thing to do for your company’s stock.

But get this: these layoffs are on the heels of adding 20,000 new customers. Customers who are buying CDs through Goldman’s new online platform that launched in April.

Remember that banks use to make money by paying you interest on the money you have at their bank and then lending out your money to other people at a higher interest rate. Nothing fancy. They just made money on the spread. Then they figured out that you can create all sorts of confusing products, embed various layers of fees in these products, and sell those to people.

That’s working out less great now with post-2008 financial regulations and all sorts of finger wagging from the consumer production agency. So, as Matt Levine points out, there’s now an all-out war within the banking community for boring ol’ individual retail clients like us. Yep. Banks just want to go back to their roots of you depositing money, them paying you interest, and them lending out your money to someone else at a higher interest rate.

I don’t understand how we can’t expect more bank layoffs as banks streamline their divisions that are less profitable (streamline = get rid of) and move toward identifying financial technology companies they’ll acquire.


If you’re a student and you’re an amazon prime member not only is your annaul prime fee half price ($49) but now can also save money if you take out a private student loan through Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo and Amazon announced that students will get a half of a percent decrease on their Wells Fargo loan if they also sign up for an Amazon Prime student membership.

Amazon is happy because it increases subscriptions (Wells Fargo pushes them that way). Wells Fargo is happy because they can start relationships with younger customers and grow with them as they get old (grow = sell them more products as they get old). Makes sense.

Everything I read said that Amazon and Wells Fargo aren’t exchanging any money in this transaction (i.e. Amazon isn’t paying Wells Fargo). But there’s no mention of them not exchanging data on subscribers/borrowers. I wonder about that, but also don’t really care if they share my data.


Musk announced the key areas in his updated master plan this week. Here they are:

Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage.

Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments.

Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning.

Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it.

The last item involves your car, as a self-driving car, essentially being an Uber driver. You chill at home while it drives itself picking up passengers. The part about expanding the electric vehicle product line involves plans to create 18-wheeler electric cars. Yes Large Marge style. Electric Large Marge’s would be a great name. He can have that.

Here are some areas in my updated master plan:

Finish this newsletter.

Try to ignore this puppy that is staring at me.

Eat some of my Mom’s peanut butter cake.

Maybe pour myself a bevy.

Hop on Twitter to see who everyone is mad at today.


I spoke at Wework this week and dished a few hacks. This video could’ve gone in some many directions that it went in no direction. Sometimes that’s just the way the footage goes.

One thing I offered when I spoke was a grid that outlines some of the key differentiators between robo-advisors. If you’re trying to decide which robo-advisor to work with and aren’t really sure about the differences, here’s a grid for you.


We wrote and shot this about a week ago. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 9.59.12 PM

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About Yesenia Barboza

Yesenia Barboza
My name is Yesenia Barboza. I have been in online marketing and business since 2005. Since that time, I have managed several websites and blogs while establishing a successful strategy business coaching program. Most of my clients and students range from start up businesses up to companies that want to expand the growth of their existing business.

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