Retail: Lush Is In No Rush

A hipper version of the Body Shop, the British beauty firm is easing into the U.S. so it can hang on to its cachet

On a sunny afternoon in San Francisco's bustling Powell Street shopping district, swarms of spendthrifts bypass the Body Shop, which is empty except for the employees, to browse around Lush, a rival British skin-care boutique located a block away. With cakes of multihued soap piled high in the window, this whimsical cosmetics grocer packages its fresh, handmade lotions in what appear to be pints of ice cream--complete with sell-by dates--and arranges fistfuls of bath salts in produce-like pyramids of color. An overzealous employee is roaming the store, commanding shoppers to sniff the new Honey, I Washed the Kids soap, which, like...

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