Since establishing 22 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 has grown significantly since it was formed and is now one of the most visible retailers on the high street.
Lush currently operates in 49 countries with 932 shops, 38 websites shipping worldwide and a global network of native apps, broadcasting channels and digital communities in over 30 languages. In 2015, Lush opened its largest store in London to act as its flagship. Since then it has continued to expand in both the UK and abroad.
The last 12 months in particular have been significant for the brand’s retail presence with openings and relocations in major European cities. Below is a little taste of the brand’s latest portfolio changes.
Open since the end of March, the brand new Lush Spa in Cardiff gives customers an experience like no other. The largest Lush in Wales, the store showcases all that is innovative and inspiring about the brand. It is also home to the principality’s very first Lush Spa and an array of spellbinding, sensory treatments to transform mind and body.
Housed within a nearby but much larger location, the new site has been transformed by architecture and retail design practice Design Time. Working together for over 15 years, Lush and Design Time enjoy a strong working relationship with a deep understanding of the retailer’s vision and brand values.
Steve Moore, Managing Director of Design Time, spoke to Premier Retail about the project:
“Fuelled by the success of the Oxford Street flagship store which we completed in 2015, our brief was to emulate the look and feel of the London store, taking the Lush customer on an experiential journey throughout the store. Architecturally there were many challenges to resolve in order to create a workable space, but travelling within the store, the customer journey creates multiple touch points with the Lush product range.
Bringing the upper floors of this building to life for the first time in 25 years has created a unique space for the Lush Spa. Spread across 120m2, Lush Spa Cardiff has a number of unique products and concepts. Located on the second floor, the spa is a private and relaxing experience that blends with the rest of the store. Steve continued:
“The main thing to consider with a Lush Spa is that the spa services are quite different to the retail experience. A customer will have a spa treatment then be led back to the store where they can purchase products used in the treatment. We had to create a space where this commercial function could happen. This involved customising lifts, creating a reception area for spa customers within the retail space.
“If you visit the store you will be welcomed by a member of staff and will be drawn in by the market hall installation. This then leads into the demonstration areas where there are huge, custom made or vintage reclaimed enamel sinks. Demonstration and social engagement takes place all time and it’s a constant theme within the store throughout the day. Social media helps to transmit this excitement and enthusiasm globally.
“Moving through the store you will find the various elements of the Lush brand before arriving at the Spa welcome area, which is in a snug type area. A lift that has been fitted out in all of the Lush floor and wall finishes then takes customers to the spa area. It’s beautifully lit and has the added touch of birdsong to create a relaxed environment. The second floor spa is a very calm and peaceful environment with high performance acoustic materials that shuts out the outside world.”
As well as the challenge of blending the actual Lush store with the spa element, complex and technical fire issues of the site had to be addressed. A significant amount of fire engineering work was required to satisfy the relevant officers.
Since opening, the store has proved hugely popular with Steve adding:
“We’ve had some fantastic feedback on the store, from both a technical perspective and customers. There have also been some great remarks on social media.
“It means a great deal to be able to carry on working with Lush. Enduring relationships always bring added value to every single project. There’s a familiarity, we understand Lush and they understand us. The success of the Oxford Street flagship has elevated Lush into a prominent, global retailer. I believe Lush are on the crest of a wave at the moment that they will be riding for years to come. They have a loyal following and we’re very proud to have contributed to that.”
Elsewhere in the UK, Lush Reading has relocated with a new look shop in The Oracle Shopping Centre. With a larger trading area, the new store will host an array of exciting features and concepts, which will showcase all that is innovative and inspiring about Lush.
Cardiff is not the only European city to see its established Lush store move to an improved site with Lush Amsterdam opening in its new location in March. The new store is located on Kalverstraat, Amsterdam’s prominent shopping street with an eclectic mix of stores that attract millions of customers every year.
The new 110m2 space is spread across three floors in a gorgeous red brick structure. Bold external signage and large bay windows make a strong statement on the street while internally reclaimed wood features heavily. Stocked with latest Lush products, it is the only store in the Netherlands that sells the brand’s bath oils.
Taking its lead from the opening of Lush’s flagship store in London, Milan was chosen as the venue for the brand’s leading location in Italy. Open since November 2016, the store is located in the city’s main piazza – Piazza del Duomo. The shop is perfectly placed to take advantage of the large footfall in the area. Totalling 190m2, all the furniture in the shop has been made using reclaimed materials.
Continuing the theme of bigger and better, April of this year saw the opening of the biggest Lush store in a shopping centre in Italy. Inspired by the design of Lush Oxford Street, Lush Port of Rome blends the core values of Lush with some Italian design flair. Totalling 120m2, the store has been designed with sustainability at its heart. Included within the store is furniture that has been made by hand using recycled wood from old barns in Brianza as well as a lighting system in full compliance with energy efficiency.
The grand reopening of the store included a series of demonstrations and a live musical performance.
April also saw the relocation of Lush’s flagship store in Paris. Moving into the Val d’Europe shopping centre, the new store comprises 102m2 of sales space. Design highlights of the new site include a heavy use of recycled wood, Mosa tiles, LED lights and old retro cupboards with vintage chairs for the perfume area.
Brussels was the most recent European city to see its established Lush site move to a bigger and better venue. After a grand opening on the 23rd June, the new store is located on one of the busiest high streets in Belgium – Rue Neuve.
Open since April in Madrid’s popular Plenilunio Shopping Mall, Lush Plenilunio is a continuation of the brand’s global rollout design. Similarly, Lush Hamburg has moved to a new, bigger site in the city. The 120m2 welcomed its first customers at the beginning of March 2017 and has already proved to be hugely popular with regulars as well as newcomers. Finally, Lush Strasbourg is located in the heart of the Eastern city, with great accessibility and a diverse range of the brand’s most popular products.
The continued expansion and overhaul of Lush stores around Europe is a testament to the brand’s desire for customers to make the most of their Lush experience. Much like Lush’s innovative products, the new stores have been carefully designed to make the most of space available while remaining as environmentally conscious as possible. Feedback from customers on this evolution has proved extremely positive and bodes well for the brand’s future growth.
To find out more, please visit lush.com.
Design Time specialise in the design and construction of retail stores in key trading areas across the UK and internationally. The company has been in operation for more than 30 years, providing creativity and buildability experience within fashion retail, health and beauty, food retail and hospitality sectors.
Design Time has been fortunate to have a diverse range of clients who rely on their creativity and architectural credibility to implement successful brand environments to engage their customers. In the last year this has included flagship retail stores on Leicester Square for a global toymaker, food stores and juice bars for PLANET ORGANIC, key projects for LUSH as well as a vibrant emporium for SPACE NK on Regent Street.
Design Time work with LUSH’s in-house design team to realize a physical space that combines all aspects of their multi-channel business, and creates a unique immersive environment. Design Time bring both design and project management focus to conclusion.
Steve Moore, Design Time, said:
“LUSH are unquestionably at the forefront of experiential retailing. For more than sixteen years we have worked on the opening of stores, both on the high street and within shopping centres across the UK.”
“We understand retail and the way customers behave, our passion is working with retailers to create an unforgettable experience for shoppers, which in turn creates happy consumers!”