British cosmetic retailer Lush just opened its 100th store in the United States that also happened to be its 37th operating in a Macy's, and, despite the recession, is looking forward to opening up to 30 more outlets in its current roll out across the country.
The numbers suggest Lush is finding a niche in the U.S. and also that Macy's can demonstrate a nice flexibility in developing partnerships when it so desires.
Lush is counting on product, store experience and price to ensure it can grow in the weak economic environment. Mark Wolverton, president and ceo of Lush North America, pointed out that “65% of our products run under $10,” making them an economical choice in tough times. Yet, Lush doesn't create a bargain basement environment and, in fact, throws customer parties and runs other promotions regularly that can pack a store with 400 customers, he said. Everyday, customers are enticed by the aromas emanating from the items populating Lush stores. The cosmetics are based on fresh ingredients including lime, banana, papaya, strawberry and other natural and whenever possible organic antecedents, and they even come with sell-by dates. Manufacturing, which in North America takes place in Toronto or Vancouver, is fully vertical, so, Wolverton points out, Lush has control of its product quality and manufacturing costs.