Sales: $1.2 billion
Mark Constantine, co-founder and managing director; Mo Constantine, co-founder and director
A range of personal care, cleansers, beauty and hair care products
Limited-edition vegan jellies (toothpaste)
Comments: Like so many others, Lush is being heavily impacted by the coronavirus. In March, the company closed its stores in the US and elsewhere. At the time, Lush said it took immediate cost saving measures that included reducing non-essential activities, halting all travel and suspending recruitment. Further, the senior leadership team took a 25% salary reduction. But as the shutdown lingered, Lush cut its retail staff.
Some good news came in late May, when Lush announced that it was beginning to reopen shops in Canada and the US on a case-by-case basis. The company operates 264 shops in North America. But two months later, Lush said it would discontinue 150 products following an internal review. The assessment was built on three questions: Does it serve customers’ needs? Is it No. 1 in its category? Is it part of a cosmetic revolution?
Not a company to keep quiet about societal issues, during June, Lush partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to host virtual Pride Month events with the mission of generating support legislation that would protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and public spaces and services.
In the wake of the George Floyd murder in the US, Lush North America (which operates as a licensee of Lush in the UK) said it would be contributing $250,000 to Black-led organizations at the Black Lives Matter movement in North America, and would also be dedicating $250,000 from the sale of its Charity Pot Body Lotion to support Black-led, community-based organizations across North America over the next three months.
As coronavirus spread, Lush sprang into action, partnering with rescue.org to support refugees around the world who are on the frontlines, keeping their communities safe.
In financial disclosure documents for the year ended June 2018, the company wrote: “For 23 years, we have made great products, with beautiful ingredients, we are transparent with our customers and we don’t sell fake benefits. We are not the number one cosmetics company, but for the sake of the environment, we really need to be. We believe that Lush has the potential to be a ‘keystone species’; a keystone species is defined as a species that has a disproportionate positive benefit on their ecosystem in comparison to their numbers.”
If Lush hopes to be the No. 1 cosmetics company in the world, it better get growing. L’Oréal has it beat by about $30 billion.