Lush Cosmetics Case Study

Lush Handmade Cosmetics: “With Parallels Remote Application Server, licensing costs have significantly reduced. We are able to easily create a stable network environment that is easy to deploy and manage.” ~ Dale Hobbs, Manager, Network and Security Systems

Lush Handmade Cosmetics ( chose Parallels Remote Application Server over Citrix to overcome licensing issues related to it (Citrix). This move resulted in a significant increase of ROI for the company.

Company Overview

Lush Handmade Cosmetics was founded by Mark Constantine, Liz Weir and few other colleagues in 1995. The company produces hair and skin products using fresh and natural ingredients. The name LUSH was chosen by its customers in a competition. In 1996, the company got international status with a branch in Vancouver. Today, there are 210 stores in North America and all ingredients are supplied by the two kitchen factory set-ups in Canada. In addition, the company donated $2 million to charity in the first five years of its operations. Furthermore, the company also rewards people who research on cruelty-free science with the LUSH prize.

The Challenge

Lush has multiple shops in the U.S. and the UK. The company has a total of 210 shops in North America. The natural ingredients are supplied by the two kitchen factories located in Canada. There are more than 250 users that concurrently access corporate resources. Initially, the company was using Citrix as its virtualization platform. Despite Citrix being good, its licensing costs were significantly higher. Consequently, the company was on the lookout for a simple tool that could consolidate all IT operations while being cost-effective and easy to manage.

The Solution

Lush Handmade Cosmetics chose Parallels Remote Application Server to create a stable remote access infrastructure. Using Parallels Remote Application Server, applications were published from a centralized location for 250 concurrent users. General applications such as Microsoft Office and customized ERP applications were remotely delivered to end-users.

Key Benefits

Lush Handmade Cosmetics realized an immediate benefit: a significant reduction in licensing costs. Parallels Remote Application Server came at a fraction of the cost when compared against the price of its competitors. At the same time, this virtualization tool offered all of Citrix’s features out of the box with the standard license.

As a result, the company was able to consolidate their entire IT operations across all shops and publish applications and desktops to every user from a centralized location. The network was device-independent, OS-independent and infrastructure-independent.

By using Parallels Remote Application Server, the company was able to create a stable network infrastructure that was easy to deploy and manage. Parallels Remote Application Server came as a comprehensive virtualization package where all basic features were offered in the standard edition. Moreover, key components such as load balancing and universal printing feature were auto-configured.

About Lush Handmade Cosmetics

Lush Handmade Cosmetics is a leading cosmetic retailer in the UK. It offers cosmetics products prepared from fresh and natural ingredients. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Poole, England. Mark Constantine, a trained trichologist and Liz Weir, a beauty therapist, first started a hair and beauty salon in 1970. Later, they started Lush along with a few other colleagues. The company’s business structure is based on partnerships. Today, the company has 210 stores in North America. In addition, Charity Pot is a hand-body lotion created by Lush where all revenues go to charity. The company also supports animal rights and other campaigning groups. For more information on Lush, feel free to visit their website.

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Wacky Products with Wackier Names

Lush offered a variety of products in skin care, bath and body care, off-beat gift ideas, etc. All the products were handmade. It used natural and organic ingredients wherever possible. The unique selling proposition of the brand was that the products were fresh and around 70 percent of the products had no preservatives...

New Product Development

The production team at Lush had spent more than 25 years working together and Constantine acted as the major force that drove innovation at Lush. The products were prepared in places that resembled farm kitchens. The creative team was led by Mo. The team developed the products on the basis of their own personal tastes and preference. Lush drove the market by offering innovative products and then educating consumers on how to use them. Most of the product ideas were so innovative that many marketers would have had second thoughts. For instance, when Constantine proposed the idea of 'Bath Bombs' (fizzing, fragrant balls that disintegrated in the water) to the Body Shop in the late 1980s, the latter rejected the idea...

Displayed 'Naked' - Packaging is Boring!

Lush used minimal packaging for its products. For instance, it sold solid bars of shampoos and deodorants. Soaps were wrapped in greaseproof paper while products like bubble bars and ballistics had no packaging at all. The products could be carried home in paper bags. It used color-codes to distinguish between organic products and natural products...

Pricing - Lush Offers Good Value

Generally Lush's products were usually priced less than the products of companies such as the Body Shop, but more than the offerings of local competitors and supermarkets. Many of Lush's products were designed as butchers' blocks, which were priced by weight...

The Lush Experience

Lush's stores were located in prime areas. Lush was very particular about their location. They looked to place themseves in posh localities, next to stores that sold high-end items. This allowed segmentation of the customers and also acted as a form of advertising and a way of creating a premium image. Lush was a self-professed "cosmetics grocer". It drew inspiration from local businesses such as how fruitsellers displayed their ware. "I've always loved the way fruit and vegetables are displayed in a grocery store", said Constantine...

Other Channels of Distribution

Lush had a multi-channel strategy. In addition to the chain of stores, Lush ran a mail order operation and also sold its products online. Since it had a wide range of products, the mail order catalogue was used for cross-selling products to existing customers. Nicholls said, "We have many single consumables which is a good foundation for mail order as it means a lot of repeat business. People start of with the bathing range, which is easy, but I view it as an entree to some seriously good skin and hair products." ...

Who Needs Traditional Marketing?

Lush did not have a traditional marketing department. It aimed to attract customers with a superior product offering and service, an addictive in-store experience, and an ethical agenda. Constantine felt that a good product was the best advertisement for the product. In addition to this, the various gift ideas of Lush which contained an assortment of different products of Lush enabled customers to try out different products themselves...

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