Lush to take its make-up fascia abroad for growth

Handmade cosmetics retailer Lush is taking its new make-up and perfume fascia B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful abroad and is scouting locations in Canada and Japan.

Lush co-founder and chief executive Mark Constantine has aggressive expansion plans for the fledgling chain, targeting '100 stores within five years, hopefully less'.

The first B store opened next to Lush's Carnaby Street shop last September and Constantine said the Lush store had since enjoyed a 30 per cent sales fillip. A direct-mail catalogue and Internet business has also been launched to support the brand.

B shops are merchandised to look like glamorous boudoirs, complete with dressing tables and vintage fragrance bottles.

However, Lush's international retail director Rowena Bird, who has responsibility for the B chain, said the format is being refined to improve the clarity of displays and make it more commercial. Bird is scouting openings in London, Jersey, Vancouver and Tokyo.

Separately, Lush continues to enter new markets with the eponymous 274-store fascia. It has stores in 31 countries, including recent openings in Bangalore, India and Paris. The retailer has a global turnover of£69 million and is targeting 1,000 stores by 2008.

Lush has ramped up its Christmas offer, filling in the gaps in the pricing architecture by offering stocking fillers, as well as premium-end gifts such as Secret Stash hatboxes for£99.50.

In accounts filed at Companies House, the UK chain increased sales from£14.2 million to£18.1 million in the year to June 30 last year.

Pre-tax profits rose from£445,238 to£585,527 for the period.