Recently, the UK-based cosmetics company Lush opened up their first shop in Richmond, located in Short Pump Town Center, and I was eager to check out the Richmond location. Lush carries fresh, luxury cosmetics backed up with an environmentally, socially and ethically conscious mission.
Numerous customer requests for a Richmond Lush prompted Lush to open a store in Richmond, and Short Pump Town Center was the perfect location; as one employee explains, “We’re a luxury brand, and this mall is tailored a little bit to the luxury market.”
The second that I stepped into Lush, I was greeted by a fresh, welcoming aroma and a friendly sales associate. Lush carries bath, shower, face, hair, body and perfume products. Their products appeal to both men and women; the employee explains that Lush “doesn’t really gender products, so both men and women can appreciate and enjoy all of the products.”
Behind their products, Lush emphasizes following a green policy. They support fighting against animal testing, using fresh natural ingredients, buying ethically, and giving to charity. In fact, employees explain that Lush has “the strictest no animal testing policy in the cosmetics industry.” Lush’s products are 100% vegetarian, 83% vegan, 60% unpreserved, and 38% unpackaged.
Employees tell us that Lush “takes a lot of pride in doing as many packaging-free or minimal plastic packaging as possible.” All of Lush’s solid products, such as shampoos, lotions, and bath products, are wrapped in fully biodegradable paper rather than plastic. However, for some products there is no way around plastic packaging; so instead, Lush promotes a closed-loop recycling program. Customers can bring back the packaging when they are finished with their products, and that packaging will be recycled and used to make packaging for other Lush products. Lush also offers a “charity pot” product, a creamy hand and body lotion. Lush donates 100% of the price of the product to small organizations that promote environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.
While in Lush, I couldn’t help but notice how helpful the sales associates were; sales associates undergo training in order to be able to recommend products to customers and demonstrate how products work by trying them out on customers. Customers are able to see how the products work and whether they like them or not before they commit to buy them. Employees tested out several products on me, including the Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub and the Buffy Body Butter. The products smelled incredible and left my skin feeling fresh and softer than ever.
Additionally, while in Lush, I took note of the appealing, unique interior design of the store. Lush owners gathered interior design inspiration from farmer’s markets and the Pike’s Place Market in Seattle in particular. Employees tell us that the owners enjoyed “how you can go and see all of these fresh things… see piles of fresh fruit and such, and you can sense how fresh everything is and how attainable that freshness is.” Lush wants to provide that same experience and feeling for their customers.
Lush has counters and tables set up on the stores with products displayed in a similar manner to the way they would be displayed at a farmer’s market. For example, bath bombs are displayed in wooden barrels, like apples. Unpackaged, fresh soaps are displayed on wooden, kitchen-like counters and cut by sales associates, depending on how much soap customers want to purchase. The way that the store is set up has a very warm, welcoming feel to it.
My trip to Lush was the highlight of my day and I predict many more Lush trips in my future. To check out the newly opened Lush, head over to Short Pump Town Center, located at 11800 West Broad Street. Lush is located in the upper level of the mall, in between The Limited and Journeys. Hours are 10AM-9PM Monday-Saturday and 12PM-6PM Sunday. To keep updated on future sales and store events, check out their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on twitter @lushcosmetics.