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Lush’s Strategy for Growth

The brand is bringing its organic assortment of products to consumers’ doors the day they’re made.

Lush is bringing its organic assortment of products to consumers’ doors the day they’re made.

Already available in the U.K., Lush Kitchen is looking to launch in the U.S. in the spring. The handmade cosmetics brand cooks up small batches of limited-edition products that are available to purchase exclusively online, which then are sent out on the day they are created.

Executives would not discuss sales figures, but industry sources estimate Lush Kitchen will ring up $3.5 million in first-year retail sales in the U.S.

But that’s not all of what’s in store for the brand. Lush is plotting a growth strategy that is all about going big or going home.

On July 11, Lush hit a major milestone, opening its 200th store in North America. According to the company, the North American region is its fastest-growing business globally and most profitable with more than $200 million in sales this past year.

“We’re growing about 30 percent a year,” said Mark Wolverton, president and chief executive officer of Lush North America. “We’re hoping to post $300 million this upcoming fiscal year.”

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In 2014, the company opened 22 new shops in Nashville and Des Moines among others. Over the next two years it plans to debut 63 new doors. Globally, Lush has more than 900 stores in 51 countries and recently entered Brazil and South Africa. 

“The brand really aligns itself best like a neighborhood boutique,” noted Wolverton. “As we go forward we’re opening 30 shops a year with the addition of five larger profile shops. Each [profile shop] will be 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. Also, we’re relocating [20] smaller stores into a bigger footprint [over the next two years].”

According to Wolverton, San Francisco and New York are two of Lush’s best markets. On a global basis, he called out France and England. But in Quebec, Wolverton admitted that this market is more of a struggle due to language barriers.

In January, Lush opened two spas in its freestanding stores in New York City and Philadelphia consisting of seven treatments including massages, body scrubs and foot treatments. Spa employees take clients through a full skin consultation and once their service is completed the consumer gets to take home the products used on them.

Wolverton added, “Right now we’re looking to add spas in the New York market. Also, we want to improve the profile of the brand, but also work on the management. We’re really trying to streamline for the customer and improve customer service and access to [Lush].”

On the product front, Lush is concentrating on improving its fragrance and cosmetics assortment. In November, the company will relaunch its Gorilla Greatest Hits fragrance collection. Additionally it will roll out a new sandalwood scent titled Smugglers Soul. Executives added that Lush is looking explore more of its men’s range and will unveil seven new men’s products in early 2015.

Between now and Christmas, Lush will roll out 62 individual new products and 75 gift sets, according to the company.

In addition to being sold in its stand-alone stores, the brand is also offered on lushusa.com. With 350 stockkeeping units, the full lineup is priced between $4.95 for soap and $229 for its biggest gift set.