* P&G buys The Art of Shaving
* Acquisition gives P&G entry into retail
* Financial terms of the deal not disclosed (Adds details on retail plans, acquired business, byline)
CHICAGO, June 3 (Reuters) - Just in time for Father's Day, Procter & Gamble Cois taking a step up to attract more men with its purchase of prestige brand The Art of Shaving.
The acquisition gives P&G a foothold in the retail industry with The Art of Shaving's 36 U.S. stores. P&G typically sells its products through separate retailers. While it owns salons and there are Mr. Clean car washes named after its well-known brand, this appears to be the first time that P&G will own locations focused on shopping.
The Art of Shaving was founded in 1996 by Eric Malka and Myriam Zaoui, who came up with their first product in the kitchen of their Manhattan apartment. It sells razors, shaving creams and other products in its own shops and web site, high-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus [NMRCUS.UL] and some international retailers.
The acquisition expands P&G's dominance in the men's shaving market. P&G's Gillette products such as Fusion and Mach3 are already leading sellers at mainstream retailers, while The Art of Shaving caters to an upscale clientele,
The acquisition was likely a small one for P&G, which paid $57 billion for shaving products leader Gillette Co back in 2005. Women's Wear Daily reported that P&G likely paid around $60 million for The Art of Shaving, citing industry sources. P&G declined to give a figure for the deal announced on Wednesday.
The acquisition is not the first partnership for Procter & Gamble and The Art of Shaving. In 2007, they teamed up to launch a $150 Fusion Chrome Collection Power Razor to go along with a manual version priced at $100. Gillette Fusion razors sold in stores such as Wal-Mart Stores Incand CVS Caremark Corp's CVS are priced around $10.
The Art of Shaving will continue to be run from its headquarters in Miami, with Malka staying on and Zaoui working as a consultant, a spokeswoman for P&G's grooming unit said. (Reporting by Jessica Wohl, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, editing by Matthew Lewis)
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