Carrying the hashtags #FreshIsBest and #SelfCare, the monthly subscription service offered consumers in the UK and France a selection of freshly made cosmetic products like face masks, bath bombs, massage bars and eye pads made using fruit, veg and herbs; all delivered within 48 hours of ordering and designed to be used immediately or stored in the fridge for use later.
The UK subscription service was priced at £35 per month and the French service €50 per month, with each box containing around four or five products alongside the flowers. An ingredients list for every product in the box was included and consumers were also able to access product information by scanning the box via the Lush Labs app.
Fresh beauty – ‘it’s basically like a cosmetics bakery’
The concept had been inspired by Lush’s Parisian Fresh & Flowers store that offered French consumers an array of freshly made cosmetic products and locally and ethically sourced flowers. The concept store launched in November 2019 as part of a wider European retail expansion that also included a huge concept store in Munich.
Claire Constantine, global retail director at Lush, said the ongoing COVID-19 crisis had also fuelled the idea to launch the company’s latest subscription offering.
“Everyone has been having a tough time during the pandemic,” Constantine told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
“…There is a huge need for people to look after themselves and find ways of having new experiences at home at the moment. Receiving a box of innovative treats to pamper yourself with really provides that,” she said.
The subscription model also worked well, given each cosmetic item was made fresh, as it avoided any wastage because each box was “made to order”, she said.
“All of our products are fresh and handmade, and our freshest products are made in a small ‘fresh kitchen’ at our manufacturing site. All of our fresh face masks are already made here and sent out on the same day to shops, so we can use the same process to get them to customers. To make this happen, our amazing compounders wake up extra early and often start shifts as early as 5am. It’s basically like a cosmetic bakery.”
Expansion plans? It’s ‘logistically very challenging’ shipping fresh cosmetics
Asked if Lush had plans to roll out the subscription service beyond the UK and France, Constantine said: “There are so many elements of it that I’m sure will need refining and it’s logistically very challenging shipping such fresh products, as they can’t be out of the fridge for long, but we would love to see it worldwide eventually.”
In the meantime, she said Lush wanted to take it “one step at a time” with the service, before expanding it further.
“We want to make sure that our offering is of really high quality and will benefit the customer to the absolute maximum. It’s a privilege to be invited to deliver products of our choosing into customers’ homes and we want to make sure they are the right ones and bring the most joy possible,” she said.
However, Constantine said Lush certainly remained sharply focused on growing its digital business – an ongoing strategy that the current COVID-19 pandemic had “sped up”.