Lush has opened its first fully automated shopping experience in London, following the news that the retailer has returned to profit.


The vending machine will initially run for six months

The vending machine shopping experience is open to customers 24 hours a day at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, and will be regularly restocked with Lush products.

The vending machine, which is designed by Anmac, will initially run for six months and offers a variety of products and gift sets. It also runs on a low-energy output, according to the retailer. 

Global environmental reporting lead Helen Cox said: “These exciting innovative micro stores will allow us to get our wonderful fresh handmade products into the hands of even more consumers, making it easier for them to make ethical choices. These allow us to get more of our hero products into the world without the operating impact of a full store.”

As well as the pop-up, Lush plans to add nine new stores to its 919-strong store estate in the year ending June 30. The retailer will also complete eight relocations to larger stores.

Lush has revealed a return to profitability in its last financial year. Profit before tax for the year ending June 30, 2021, was £29.2m, £74.4m higher than the year prior.

Turnover fell 6.6% to £408.7m from £437.8m, with the drop attributed to Covid-related closures and restrictions. However, the chain has now taken over its North American partner in a deal worth $180m (£137.2m) according to the Financial Times.

Co-founder Mark Constantine said that this buyout will add more than 80% to its revenues. 

Lush also raised prices by 7% before Christmas in the face of rising inflation, although further price rises are not planned according to the retailer. 

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