Following staggered closures across March and April (Japan), fresh handmade cosmetics brand Lush currently have 793 of their 935 shops worldwide shut. But as lockdowns start to slowly lift, business is gradually beginning to open its doors once again.
After a phased reopening from 20th April, Lush Germany will have all 41 shops open again this week – six weeks after initially closing.
Austria have also staggered their reopenings with high street shops opening from 15th April and shopping malls from 2nd May.
Other planned reopenings this week include UAE, Russia, South Africa, Netherlands and Greece.
Spain plan to reopen shops from 11th May (dependent on local government guidelines) and Italy on 18th May, following a trial phase in 5 shops slightly earlier.
Finding new ways to provide such a personal service to customers is an interesting challenge and the brand anticipates a change in customer experience whilst virus control measures remain in place.
Alongside local government guidelines – such as observing advised social distancing rules, no hands on demonstrations and having a safe queuing system to enter – staff safety measures for each Lush shop reopening also include lower staffing levels to begin with, a continuous cleaning rota, inviting customers to wash their hands on entering with their own piece of soap and no product testers on display.
Some shops have restarted with an Order & Collect service, giving customers the chance to get their favourite products without the need to spend much time in the shop. Customers in Germany have been vocal, saying they prefer to shop directly rather than just over the phone, leading shops there to set up a ‘kiosk’ by the front door to serve, avoiding the need for customers to enter the shop at all.
Few shops have seen operations return with full opening hours with the majority adjusting daily in order to remain reactive to customer requests and needs and to ensure staff feel safe.
While the brand doesn’t have an official opening date for UK shops (closed since 22nd March), alternative ways to trade – using feedback from what is working well in other countries – are currently being carefully considered with the comfort and safety of staff and customers as a priority.
These include the kiosk style purchasing at the door, Order & Collect (by email and phone), local delivery services directly from shops (currently being trialled through Lush Oxford St), online consultations, appointment based shopping and product demonstrations through tech advances such as Lush Lens.
After implementing extra safety measures, the UK website reopened on 18th April after a 3 week hiatus. As of this week, 37 country websites are open, which is all but one (Panama).
Current best selling ranges online are Skincare, Hair care and Bath Bombs.
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Click for full Lush information about the Coronavirus crises.
Since establishing 25 years ago, Lush has been driven by innovation and its ethics. Creators of pioneering beauty products such as the fizzing bath bomb, shower jellies and solid shampoo bars, Lush places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables. Lush fights tirelessly against animal testing and operates a thoroughly comprehensive Ethical Buying department, developing fair and direct trade initiatives. Lush leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by running public awareness campaigns and developing products that can be sold ‘naked’ to the consumer without any packaging.
Today Lush operates in 48 countries with over 900 shops, 38 websites shipping worldwide and a global network of native apps, broadcasting channels and digital communities in over 30 languages.