The price of razor blade cartridges has surged by as much as 99 per cent in just three years – driving many men to adopt designer stubble.
The cartridges cost less than 10p to make, but shoppers are being charged as much as £3.49 each.
The biggest player, Gillette, has imposed a stealth price rise by cutting the number of replacement cartridges in its Mach3 Turbo packs from five to four.
The smaller pack did not bring a corresponding cut in the price, leaving men paying at least 20 per cent more.
At Asda, the price per cartridge has risen by 99 per cent over a three-year period.
n 2009, the chain condemned razor manufacturers for their high prices and won plaudits for slashing the cost of a five-cartridge pack of Gillette’s Mach3 blades from £8 to £5.
However, it has since pushed the price back up, to £7.99 for a smaller pack of four, which means the cost per cartridge has risen from £1 to just under £2.
If that were not painful enough, replacement cartridges for Gillette’s top-of-the-range Fusion ProGlide can be as much as £3.49 each.
The high price of razor blade cartridges has led to them becoming the most shoplifted item on the high street, with stores forced to resort to electronic security tags and CCTV to protect their stock.
At the same time, men worried about making ends meet are either trying to make their razor blades last longer, with the resulting scrapes and cuts – or ditching their shaving regime and opting for designer stubble.