Largest Lush store opens in Singapore in VivoCity

Lush, co-founded by Ms Rowena Bird (above), has opened its fifth store in Singapore (left), which sells exclusive products like the brand's Knot Wraps, wrapping fabric made from organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles.
Lush, co-founded by Ms Rowena Bird, has opened its fifth store in Singapore (above), which sells exclusive products like the brand's Knot Wraps, wrapping fabric made from organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles.PHOTOS: LUSH
Lush, co-founded by Ms Rowena Bird (above), has opened its fifth store in Singapore (left), which sells exclusive products like the brand's Knot Wraps, wrapping fabric made from organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles.
Lush, co-founded by Ms Rowena Bird (above), has opened its fifth store in Singapore, which sells exclusive products like the brand's Knot Wraps, wrapping fabric made from organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles.PHOTOS: LUSH
Lush, co-founded by Ms Rowena Bird (above), has opened its fifth store in Singapore (left), which sells exclusive products like the brand's Knot Wraps, wrapping fabric made from organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles.
PHOTOS: LUSH

The flagship store in VivoCity has exclusive products and offers free massages

Skincare and cosmetics label Lush has opened its fifth and largest store in Singapore in VivoCity.

The flagship store, which opened last Friday, has exclusive products and concepts.

It has, for instance, a skin consultation area where customers can get in-depth advice on what products will suit their skin, as well as free hand and arm massages. It also stocks the brand's Gorilla Perfumes range, unavailable at any other Lush store here.

The 107 sq m unit also has a lower carbon footprint thanks to the use of recycled furniture and LED lighting.

The United Kingdom label seems unfazed by the country's tough retail scene and slowing economy, which has led to numerous store closures here last year, including British fashion label New Look and department store John Little as shoppers curb their spending.

Since the brand opened in Singapore in 2011, Lush has experienced a double-digit percentage growth every year. It plans to have at least eight to 10 stores here by 2020.

Speaking to The Straits Times over the phone, co-founder and product inventor Rowena Bird says: "Lush has been doing very well in Singapore. It is exciting."

Though the current flagship is the biggest outlet in town, the 57-year- old says future stores here are unlikely to be smaller.

"They will probably be the same size or bigger because we will need space to showcase new inventions," says Ms Bird, who is married to a carpenter and has no children.

The opening of the flagship, she says, happened as it was the "right time".

"It has to be the right place, time and price and that just happens to be at VivoCity now. So there's not much science behind it," she says, adding that the store will sell exclusive products like the brand's Knot Wraps - wrapping fabric made from either organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles for $17 to $24.

It will also stock the new Gorilla Perfumes range of 14 liquid perfumes, two perfume oils and four candles. The perfumes were inspired by experiences, poetry and music. For example, Kerbside Violet ($69), a fresh grassy scent with violet leaf, ylang ylang and rosewood oil, invokes the memory of a fresh garden in the morning.

The new flagship store here is one of the brand's 20 international stores selling the collection.

Launching such exclusive items - typically made in smaller batches because of special ingredients used - at the store will be routine, says Ms Bird who founded Lush in 1995 with five other people.

From a small store in Poole, England, the brand has grown to become a juggernaut with more than 900 shops in 50 countries today.

Known for its natural handmade products which use only vegetarian or vegan recipes, the label sells innovative beauty products such as fizzing bath bombs, shower jellies and solid shampoo bars.

In Singapore, popular items include the Sex Bomb bath bomb ($14), a blend of jasmine, ylang ylang and clary sage, and the New Shampoo Bar ($25, above), a solid shampoo with cinnamon, clove and peppermint.

The secret to its success, says Ms Bird, lies in responding to customers.

"We constantly take feedback from them," says Ms Bird, who lives in Poole on the south coast of England.

"We have a shower gel called Twilight, which has a high lavender content that makes you very relaxed.

"Customers loved it and kept asking for the same scent in a lotion. So we put the fragrance into a lotion and called it Sleepy. People say it helps them get a good night's sleep."

The former beauty therapist says the label also has a product inspired by Singapore, a body conditioner called Christingle, available during the Christmas season.

"It has a lovely menthol content that leaves the skin feeling very cool and we made it in response to customers in Singapore asking for a product to help keep their skin cool in the hot weather," she says.

•The new Lush flagship store is at B1-04 VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk,and is open daily from 10am to 10pm, tel: 6266-3398.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2017, with the headline 'Largest Lush store opens here'. Print Edition | Subscribe