Cosmetics company Lush has opened a 24-hour vending machine. It’s the most luxurious I’ve ever seen, but also the most expensive, with each product costing more than $ 20.

The Lush vending machine in London.

The Lush vending machine in London.Abby Wallace / Insider.

  • Lush cosmetics retailer has opened a pop-up vending machine in London.

  • Products can be purchased from the machine around the clock using a giant touch screen.

  • A spokesperson for Lush said they wanted people to buy Lush products. “when they wanted “.

The machine is a nod to the Lush market in Japan

The Lush vending machine in London.

The Lush vending machine in London.Abby Wallace / Insider.

Cosmetics giant Lush has opened a 24-hour vending machine that allows shoppers to purchase its products at any time of day or night.

The vending machine is located in Coal Drop’s Yard, London, approximately ten minutes’ walk from King’s Cross Station, one of London’s busiest rail terminals. I headed to the small shop on my lunch break to check it out.

The machine is unlike any other vending machine I’ve used before. It is a much larger, circular kiosk that allows shoppers to walk around it to browse the products on display.

Charlotte Howe, of the Lush Group’s retail team, told Insider that the company wanted to explore the use of vending machines because the cosmetics store has a significant market in Japan.

“We have over 100 stores in Japan and Japan is home to vending machines,” Howe said.

According to Statista, in 2020, Japan was Lush’s second largest market, just behind the UK.

The experience is fully automated and accessible 24 hours a day

The Lush vending machine in London.

The Lush vending machine in London.Abby Wallace / Insider.

The machine is completely unmanned and purchases can be made at any time of the day.

“London is a 24-hour city,” Howe told Insider, adding, “The beauty of a vending machine in London is that people can access products at any time.”

The machine is intended for shift workers and healthcare workers who can’t always access Lush stores during normal opening hours, Howe added.

The machine was created by the automated retail company, Anmac. Company CEO Andrew McAlpine told Insider that the auto-selling solution was part of a plan to allow people to access brands and products while they are “on the go,” adding that shoppers “get excited and do what they want under their control. “

“Part of me feels that the community has gotten lost in the retail world,” said Andrew, who is also a film designer. “I think being able to access the products, all the things people need in life to help them, and the people who end up coming home at 3am … is really providing a lot of people who don’t. is provided “.

The company also sells bouquets of flowers at other vending machines around London, with most of the content sold during off-peak hours, according to McAlpine.

Orders are placed on a giant touch screen but only card payments are accepted

The Lush vending machine in London.

The Lush vending machine in London.Abby Wallace / Insider

The machine is made up of columns of lockers. Orders are placed using one of the two 33-inch touch screens, and once paid, the locker door is unlocked allowing customers to retrieve the products inside.

The columns run from the floor level up to the full height of the machine. I browsed through the products by walking around the machine and browsing the large touch screen.

The machine only accepts card payments. Howe told Insider that the payment card and some of the lockers are located further down in a deliberate move by the designer to allow access for people using wheelchairs.

The machine stores large gift sets for an extra $ 20

The Lush vending machine in London.

The Lush vending machine in London.Abby Wallace / Insider.

The Lush products on offer were priced between £ 16 and £ 38 ($ 20 and $ 50) when I visited.

I expected to see some smaller Lush products on sale, including single bath bombs and smaller soaps, that people could pick up on the go, but the machine only stocked larger, more expensive items.

Howe told Insider that because the machine – and its cabinet size – was created by Anmac before it was leased from Lush, larger items were chosen to store the machine because smaller products did not fill the spaces.

“We had fun with the idea of ​​filling one with lots of bath bombs and having it as an honesty vending machine … I think we’ll test it again,” Howe told Insider.

The vending machine is very “Instagram capable,” but its launch isn’t tied to Lush’s social media strategy

The Lush vending machine in London.

The Lush vending machine in London.Abby Wallace / Insider.

The car is elegant and it’s easy to see why people might be talking about it online.

It is one of the many innovations the company has unveiled in recent months. In January Lush redesigned its store in the city of Leicester with a focus on the “concept of the customer journey,” according to its website.

The retailer also drew interest in late 2021 when it announced it would be ditching several social media platforms, citing concern over companies’ policies on handling online security issues.

But Howe said creating new experiential shopping options didn’t replace Lush’s absence on some social platforms.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a replacement,” he told Insider, adding, “Lush has always been experiential.”

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