Lush’s increased focus on bricks-and-mortar plays into the brand’s overall retail strategy and the importance it places on customer interactions
Lush recently doubled the size of its store at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent
Lush is investing up to £7.6m into opening new stores and updating its current retail offering across the UK and Ireland.
The investment will see the British beauty brand open its largest shop in Ireland later in 2022, located at the Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin.
Lush has also agreed on a new 15-year lease for a retail space on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, Scotland, with plans to turn it into a flagship store next year.
More recently, the sustainability-focused company doubled the size of its Bluewater shop in Dartford, Kent, which opened to customers on 5 July.
The expansion plans come during a difficult time for the UK high street and the global economy.
Soaring inflation, the rising cost of living and a hike in energy costs have affected the spending habits of the British population.
Retailers are also continuing to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The combined result meant consumer confidence in the UK pummented to its lowest score since records began in May this year.
These effects on retail have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in weakend global economic growth and a hike in inflation.
Global growth is set to decelerate sharply to around 3% this year and 2.8% in 2023, according to OECD, which monitors economic progress and world trade.
Despite these factors, Paul Wheatley, Lush Global Property Director, said the company’s focus on bricks-and-mortar has been a crucial aspect to its overall retail strategy.
“Physical retail has always been important to us, as it enables us to provide our customers with exceptional, award winning service,” said Wheatley.
“That interaction and the conversations we have with our customers allow us to determine the product they require to meet any particular need, ensuring they always go away with the right products.”
Following the finalisation of Lush’s employee ownership scheme in North America, the retailer said there is an “even greater need” to ensure its global portfolio is operating on a similar level.
This includes access to the same products, concepts and online features as its home market.
Lush said its new investment plans are not just about adding new shops for growth, but building up the size of its stores so that it can “accommodate new concepts”.
The retailer added that this means it will remain “committed to physical retail” and can move quickly when “exciting opportunities arise”.