Hey guys, I've recently seen a lot of posts here about not being able to find the HeadBlade Sport and HB3 blades in the stores recently.
I decided to reach out to Todd at HeadBlade to see What's going on. Here's what he had to say:
Tyler - Hey Todd, they guys on the forum have been wondering why they can't find the Sport and HB3 on store shelves anymore and instead can only find the ATX and HB4 blades. Are you getting rid of the Sport going forward?
Todd - Good question. We are absolutely not getting rid of the Sport or HB3 blades. The new ATX and HB4 blades, which were in development for over three years, are replacing the Sport and HB3's at most retail locations. Fortunately some of the chains, like Publix (FL, GA), have decided to also keep stock of the HB3's as they understand there are many current Bladers who will stick with the old system. To continue to support our loyal HeadBladers who choose to stay with the original system, we've created some great online deals for the Sport line, including an HB3 Power Pack (five HB3 blade kits for the price of four, the free blade pack is meant to offset the shipping cost of ordering online).
Tyler - What was the reason you departed from the original design and created the ATX?
Todd - The main reason for the ATX development is that we're committed to head shavers. Having been in business for over a decade, we've found that some head shavers who tried the original HeadBlade design did not quite grasp the 'lead with the blade' configuration and went back to a more traditional offering from Gillette or Schick. So in early 2009 we decided to go back to the drawing board and design a much more user friendly HeadBlade that would not require new users to learn a completely different way to shave. We wanted to combine the things that made HeadBlade work so well (the fingertip control and patented suspension) with the more traditional pulling method that every consumer understands. We also had the benefit of designing it around our totally new four and six blade cartridges that have open backs for easy rinsing and utilize a paint brush type pivot found on the high end cartridges from Gillette and Schick. It took three years but we're ecstatic with the results; a more user friendly HeadBlade that uses better cartridges and has no learning curve for new users.
That being said, we know there are a lot of loyal HeadBladers who may prefer to stick with the original design. I love that. Those are the users who have supported us from day one and understand how, once mastered, the original design is timeless. It reaffirms my conviction that I wasn't an idiot in 1997 when I designed a 'backwards' razor. The "blade in front" design is awesome, but it takes some practice. The new ATX is a lot less technical and can also be used for face and leg shaving...so it is a huge improvement in terms of initial user experience and being a multi-use razor.
Tyler - So why have we seen the Sport disappear from the shelves?
Todd - It has to do with how the major chain stores work in allowing space on their shelves. The more volume they can move of a brand, the more shelf space they will allow that brand to have. While the HeadBlade Sport sold well in the stores, we have found that the ATX is adopted more widely by newer HeadBlade users. Because of this, we have decided to utilize our store shelf space to sell the ATX and the HB4 blades. Our hope is that the increased sales volume of the ATX will eventually provide us with more the ability to gain more shelf space which will allow us to sell both the ATX and the Sport.
Tyler - What's your advice for guys that preferred to buy locally so they didn't have to pay for shipping?
Todd - I understand that some guys prefer not to pay for shipping, but that's one of the reasons we offer a 20% discount like the one the Sly Bald Guys members get. The discount should help offset the shipping charges, if not reduce the cost to less than the store price. And, as I mentioned above, we've created some great online deals for the Sport line, including an HB3 Power Pack (five HB3 blade kits for the price of four). We want to provide the best customer service possible, so if anyone has an issue with a product ordered through the HeadBlade website they can always email me or my team and we'll take care of them.
We are committed to head shavers. Please don't feel we are abandoning our loyal followers by introducing the new ATX. It will bring more people into our community and brand, and we will always support the original design, both online and in retail where we can. Thank you Tyler for giving me this opportunity to explain our newest offering and reaffirm our commitment to head shavers worldwide.