It’s not often that the atmosphere in a store is so real and tangible you can almost touch it and taste it. And whilst the assortment on offer may look good enough to eat in Lush, it is the experience which is something to die for and not a misguided mouthful of soap-suds.
Complete strangers are struck instantly by the friendly welcome, the overwhelming enthusiasm of the staff, and the intensity of customer engagement where it seems every customer is the most important ever to cross this therapeutic threshold.
Lush, of course, has been around for a while. Originally a supplier to Body Shop, the inventors of the beauty delicatessen and then the originator of the bath bomb – copied almost to the point of extinction. A tough act to keep relevant and exciting but the latest store concept and customer service proposition is right back at the top of the ever-so competitive beauty stakes, and is a result not of artifice or advertising, but as the physical incarnation of a business that from top to bottom believes in its own unique beauty and lives and breathes it for the benefit of all.
The stores themselves have one of the best entrances of any store around as Lush introduces itself with a super-sized sink full of beautifully warm soap solution and the absolutely friendliest of staff. It’s almost a sin not to get your hands wet as you literally immerse yourself into the experience. Hour after hour the staff rotate to this prime-position in their working day, each bringing their own personality to add to the collective brand enthusiasm.
The new Lush concepts are packed with product interaction, the familiar fare of colourful displays, but refreshed and energised with new ideas, shapes and fragrances. Watch the customers queue to have demonstrations and treatments in the hair lab, mostly completely complementary, and visit the spa labs to look through the spa experience choices and information. Ask a staff member more about spa experiences and have a look inside into the intimacy of these holistic chambers.
Nor is group interaction restricted to the indulgence of the inner self as stores also hold fun parties where groups of children or adults can learn how to make their own soap creations, learning about the natural ingredients as they personalise to their hearts content.
It’s hard not to like Lush, even for the cynics of the commercial world, because the enjoyment of the staff and customers together is as genuine as the ethical and environmental claims behind the production process, or the donations of 100% sales given to a variety of charities from special monthly products.
Seeing is believing, but experience is the testament to a true retail brand.
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