Petersburg Products International to close?

There is a rumour going round that Procter and Gamble are going to move production of some of their shaving products away from Russia (or even close down there completely) and in future are going to concentrate production more in China and India. This makes sense on so many levels. It gives them manufacturing economy of scale, moves production closer to the biggest markets, reduces labour and materials costs, rationalises their global operation etc etc. Also Russia must be a difficult place to do business with state interference and so much corruption.

Procter and Gamble are massive, their turnover is $79 billion a year and their Gillette shaving business is just one of 23 brands they own that each generate over a billion dollars a year in revenue. These include such names as Duracell, Braun, Oral-B, Ariel, Pringles and Pampers. So they need to run their operations with ruthless efficiency.

If this happens it could be a disaster for traditional shaving. About a dozen different brands of double edged (DE) razor blade are made in the Petersburg Products International factory. They include Iridium, Astra, Permasharp, Sputnik, Polsilver, Rotbart, Nacet and several different variations of the Gillette brand. It is where the famous Gillette “Swede” blades were made. These are some of the very best blades available in the world.

To Gillette this double edged blade business is small, it is nowhere near as profitable as their patent protected system razors and it is a real pain to support so many brands. Rationalisation must make sense. And now we have the low cost Gillette Guard system razor this could be a strategic move to finally dump DE blades. Moving customers worldwide from DE to Guard and making those Guard razors in an Indian factory makes a lot of corporate sense.

When I got wind of this news I had several hundred Petersburg razor blades in stock, I now have several hundred more on order.

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13 Comments


  1. This rumour now has three completely separate and unconnected sources.
    Mainly involving Iridium blades no longer being in production.


  2. Are these rumours in the public domain – if so could you give us some links please?


  3. well the run will start on these blades. Fortunately I had just bought several hundred Astra and a hundred or so Iridium. Hate it when something I like just up and goes away.


  4. 100 more Super Iridium and 100 Astra ordered. There is at least a year or two of shaving to be had.


  5. Users of these blades should at least try Bluebird blades. I find very little difference (if any) between them and all of the “St. Petersburg” brands. And at roughly $15 @ 100 on the Net not a bad deal!


  6. This is on a few forums:

    Dear Steve,

    thank you for your letter to P&G and your interest in our products.

    We at P&G Eastern Europe (including Russia) have not heard of the Company’s intention to close the plant in St.Petersburg (if you are talking of the blades&razors plant in St.Petersburg, Russia, formerly owned by Gillette). So I believe, it is just a rumour.

    Sincerely

    Galina Petrenko

    Procter & Gamble
    Consumer Relations

    Which tells us precisely nothing about double edged blades. They could be converting the whole plant over to Guard and Fusion system razors for all that letter tells us.

    And remember that P&G own 23 brands (see the picture of them in the article) that each gross over $1 billion a year, many of which are handled in the same St Petersburg facility.


  7. just wait for DESIGNER BLADE INTERNATIONAL to launch.


  8. p & g……..im coming 4 u………and ther aint shit u can do about it!
    signed The Father of Fution


  9. Any news on this?


    1. They don’t tell anyone anything.
      All we can judge their actions by is product availability and currently it is only the Iridium that has disappeared. (Except for forgeries!).


  10. Gillette Super Silvers and Rotbart Extra DrĂ¼nn disappeared….

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