|A customer looks for products at a Lush store in Yeouido, Seoul, Sunday, when it became less crowded after most of the discounted products were sold out in the cosmetics brand's ongoing 50 percent off sale. Korea Times photo by Nam Hyun-woo|
By Nam Hyun-woo
Lush Korea is facing backlash from some consumers over its ongoing 50 percent discount event as the prices offered by the Korean unit of the British cosmetics brand were found to be nearly the same as those regularly-offered in Britain.
Some consumers also complain that Lush Korea did not prepare enough products for the sale saying they waited in lines for hours in vain.
According to Lush Korea, Sunday, it has been offering nearly 50 percent off a number of its bath and cosmetics products since Thursday. The event will end today at the brand's offline stores and will last until Wednesday for its online store.
As the event went viral, shoppers flocked to Lush stores, formed long queues to get into the store and swept out discounted items. Its online store also shows most of the discounted products were out of stock as of Sunday.
"Almost 80 percent of what we prepared for the discount event were sold on the first day of the event," a staffer at a Lush store in Yeouido, Seoul, said. The store was selling normal-priced items only on Sunday, but some customers were still coming into the store, looking for their chance to buy items at cheaper prices.
Compared to Lush products' retail price in the U.K., however, the "discounted" prices were not that cheap.
At its online store, Lush Korea is selling Vanishing Cream at 37,500 won, 50 percent off from its normal price of 75,000 won. At the Lush U.K. online store, however, the same cream is available at 29,000 won (19.95 pound), meaning Lush Korea was selling the moisturizer with an extreme margin before the discount event.
Several other products including bath bombs and soaps available in the 50 percent event were also more expensive than the normal price in the U.K. Some popular items such as Mask of Magnaminty were even excluded from the event.
"I heard about the discount a little late and found almost no products left on its online store," said Park Eun-young, 33, an office worker in Seoul. "I can understand that Lush is cheaper in the U.K. but twice the price in Korea seems to be excessively overpriced."
Some consumers also criticized that Lush was promoting the event as a "Fresh Sale" but was selling products with a short sell-by date in a fire sale.
"Our products' average expiration date is 14 to 15 months," a Lush Korea official said. "At the event, we sold products having at least eight months, thus we believe there will be no problems."
Regarding the consumer inconvenience of waiting, the official said this showed consumers' interest in the brand.