• Lush customers on social media have been complaining about a lack of inventory.
  • On social media, Lush said it is experiencing a materials shortage but expected a resolution soon.
  • Lush did not respond to a request for comment on the specifics of the shortage. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Lush has made waves on social media in the past month for empty shelves and low online inventory. The chain says its supply chain was interrupted and a raw materials shortage affected its ability to make its bath bombs, face masks, and other cult-favorite beauty products.

Lush did not respond to requests for comment from Insider. However, the brand’s North American arm is active on Twitter, responding to requests and complaints from customers. 

The brand started mentioning the supply shortage on Twitter towards the end of March. The first response directly mentioning the shortage was on March 22, and the conversations between the brand’s social media and disgruntled customers ramped up as the shortages began to affect stores as well as the brand’s e-commerce platform. 

Lush shortage

Shelves at a Lush store in Glendale, CA, in April

Alicia Huidor/Instagram


And on Thursday, April 29, the brand told a customer on Twitter that the shortage happened due to an issue with the supply chain of essential oils, but that they expected a restock shortly.

 

 

Alicia Huidor, a frequent Lush customer, visited a Lush storefront in the Glendale Galleria in California recently and posted her disappointment about the empty shelves on Twitter and Instagram. She told Insider in a message that: “It was so sad to see one of my favorite stores like this.”

Lush shortage

The exterior of a Lush store in Glendale, CA, in April

Alicia Huidor/Instagram


As one of Lush’s head manufacturers, Dan Dresser, told Insider in 2016, “LUSH keeps its inventory extremely small to avoid over-ripening or rotting, and turnaround can be as short as 24 hours from the factory to one of the 250 North American retail stores.” 

This production method typically requires that items be restocked weekly. The limited raw material inventory means that an interruption in supply can be very noticeable. 

The brand has not confirmed the exact nature of the interruption to its supply chain and did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Insider. It is possible that the shortages are in part due to ripple effects from the Suez Canal blockage last month. The Ever Given blocked shipping routes from March 23 to 29, with major ripple effects for global trade and shortages of everything from coffee to furniture. 

One Lush customer Tweeted that an associate in a Lush store cited the canal blockage as the reason for the delays, but at the store in Philadelphia, an associate cited the pandemic as the reason for the shortage. 

If you are a Lush employee with a story to share, reach out at [email protected]

 

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