World Business: The Blade Battle

While the safety razor and the electric shaver have thoroughly conquered the U.S., many Europeans still strop their own razors or visit a barber for a shave. This naturally makes Europe highly attractive to the world's razor-blade makers. Throat-cutting competition for the market is raging between Boston-based Gillette Co., world's biggest producer, and Britain's Wilkinson Sword Ltd., whose introduction of the long-lasting stainless-steel blade changed the whole nature of the market (TIME, May 1). Stainless blades now account for almost 70% of British blade sales, 35% of the German market, and are increasing fast in other countries as delighted shavers try...