Strong Retail Execution Lifts Edgewell Into Sunny Days

Lisa Johnston
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banana boat edgewell
Brands in Edgewell’s portfolio include Banana Boat, Schick, Cremo, and Billie.

Strong retail execution, improved collaboration, and an especially sunny summer have all combined for good news for Edgewell Personal Care, which said it’s using its in-house digital prowess to share data with retailers. 

The grooming and personal care CPG, which counts such brands as Schick, Skintimate, Playtex, Banana Boat, and Cremo in its portfolio, reported year-over-year net sales growth of 8.7% to $623.8 million in its fiscal third quarter. Organic net sales, which exclude the impact of last year’s Billie acquisition, increased 9%. 

Key to this growth were consumer-centric product innovation, improved on-shelf presence, a simplified operating model with cost reductions, and stronger organization capabilities, said Rod Little, president and CEO, in a call with investors, including successful brand building and direct-to-consumer and digital execution.

[See also: Edgewell Rebrands Schick & Digs Into Social Listening]  

Favorable weather conditions also didn’t hurt, with its U.S. sun care business lifted in part from stronger demand and earlier-than-expected replenishment ordering from retailers. 

Its improved digital execution served as a catalyst for growth, said Dan Sullivan, chief financial officer, with North American e-commerce sales swelling 31%, and global e-commerce sales now representing around 13% of Edgewell’s total revenue. 

The company, which primarily manufactures in-house in the United States, also made meaningful progress in stabilizing its supply chain and improving on-shelf availability, Sullivan noted, especially across it feminine care and women’s shave categories. Improving labor levels and commodity availability are further leading to accelerated production scheduling and product flow, as well as “materially improved” service levels. 

Meanwhile, shifting consumer behavior patterns are leading the company to rationalize SKUs within its Wet Ones line. The category continues to consolidate on shelf as a result of a more normalized demand environment, said Sullivan, and so they’re right-sizing and eliminating select non-core SKUs that were added during peak COVID demand. 

Delivering Value for Retailers 

Edgewell continues to put in the work to evolve its retail relationships from being simply transactional to instead delivering mutual value, according to its leaders, including by leveraging its internal digital expertise. Today’s retailers view the company as able to help them predict and shape the future of a category and what’s on shelf, said Little, as well as create growth and value for both the retailer and the category at large. 

[See also: Edgewell Gets Unfiltered]

“It takes time to earn that credibility and trust,” he noted. “We've got a better team that calls on retailers. We've got better capabilities that bring data to retailers. … We help them arrange taxonomy on their own websites, around e-retail. We have people that are really good at that. We bring that to bear. That's nothing about a transactional price point or margin discussion. We've gotten the margin, right, sure. And so when you put all that together, what ends up happening is you have better participation in long lead discussions and you have better line of sight to the future.” 

Having a stronger portfolio also goes a long way: “It also doesn't hurt that you have brands that consumers like more and want to buy more of like Cremo, like Billie, like Banana Boat now being the leader in the category,” he added. “So our portfolio is better, too, and that helps.” 

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