This is a very common question, as we all have our product favourites, but sometimes these favourites aren't shared by other LUSH-lovers, and we end up seeing the product get "cut" or discontinued. I'd like to provide some information about the process of discontinuation to hopefully shed some light on why it happens, and ways to reconnect with old favourites.
LUSH is known for being innovators in the cosmetics field, as our team will come up with very creative new products all the time, and it is a passion for our product creators to be pushing for new ideas of products. Some examples of inventions LUSH have created are: solid toothpaste- Toothy Tabs, solid bubble bath, the bath bomb, solid facial toners, jelly-soaps, solid massage oils, solid sugar scrubs, solid body moisturizers, solid bath oils, solid body tints, solid shampoo and solid conditioner, and solid herbal hair colours to name a few.
One of the ways we are able to continue to innovate and bring new products to our customers is by reviewing what we make each year, and listening to our customers’ feedback. Often a good way to listen to that feedback is to look at where our customers are spending their hard-earned money, and where they aren’t. It is this information that we look to on a yearly basis, and from that we discontinue the least selling 30% of all of our products to make room for new innovations.
Innovating is not only something we’re proud of as a brand, but also something that keeps LUSH around as a business. If we didn’t discontinue any products, this would mean we’d keep offering products that didn’t consistently sell well and make our customers happy, which ultimately would not serve us, or our customers, very well. These products would take up precious space in our shops, and if they don't sell, they'd sadly have to be discarded.
There have been cases where a product may have a "cult" following, and even though its overall popularity isn't at the same level as our best-sellers, it still may be a product that is very important to us as a brand, or has legions of die-hard fans who can't bear to see it go. This has been the case with the Tramp shower gel, for instance, as it was discontinued some years ago to the chagrin of many of our devoted fans. They gave their feedback and let us know how much they missed it, and our team decided to keep it from the chopping block for a bit longer.
Ever since we started our online customer forum back in 2003, we were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response. Our little online community became huge, and bone of its first demands was to bring back products that we had stopped making to give shop shelf space to all the new ones. We wanted to listen to our fan base, but we weren't quite sure where to begin, since we didn't have the space to just bring the products back to the shelf.
First we ran a competition; the winners were the people who wrote the most passionate pleas to get a fresh batch of their favourite products made. They won the chance to visit Poole, UK to make these treasures themselves. We had “forumites” from Canada, the US and within the UK, turning in Poole to meet the founders and mix up their recipes, with the help and guidance of two product creators- Hilary and Wesley. Once we’d done this, of course we had to do it again, and again, and again... These products became known as the “discons”, discontinued products.
Then Mark Constantine realized that each time he went to a LUSH shop he’d see someone buying their favourite things, and he would be planning to stop making some of them. What to do? Inspired by the book, The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson, about how the future of business is selling small quantities of many things (maybe), and by LUSH’s unusual ability to handmake small batches of products, despite being quite a big company now, we launched "RetroLush". We still can’t fit them all in the shops, but now we regularly make small batches of lovely products from our past for you to try again, or for the first time. We like it that they live on, perfuming bathrooms around the globe. Join our little band of extreme LUSH fans who go for the edgier stuff, and treat yourself to some freshly made Retro products!