Colourful soaps are selling like hotcakes.
A walk through the streets of London was all that was needed to start a success story. The story of a company that did not feel the economic crisis and whose revenues have increased tenfold in the last few years. It seems that the production of soaps, bath gels, shampoos and conditioners has become a lucrative business, reports Večernji List on April 13, 2016.
“In the next three years, we expect to reach 207 million kunas in revenues”, says Igor Ćaleta, director of Lush Manufaktura. Their business operations have gained momentum in 2012 when they started manufacturing items for export. Today, more than 90 percent of their products are exported to shops in Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the list goes on.
The story of Lush Manufaktura began back in 1996, when Slavica Ćaleta, Igor’s mother, came to London to sign a cooperation agreement with a cosmetic company. On King’s Road, she spotted Lush, which had just opened in England. When she went into the store and saw colourful soaps, fragrances, and fresh masks, she decided to persuade the owners to open such a store in Croatia. And indeed, they did. There were three people working in the first Lush store in Croatia – Slavica and Igor Ćaleta and his younger brother Toni, who is now in charge of public relations.
Today, they do not invest in traditional marketing and they do not pay for advertising. People come based on the recommendation from others. In retail sales, they have about thirty employees and are planning to hire another ten next month before the main tourist season starts.
“We will also open a store in Rovinj while our strongest sales are recorded at the store in the Arena Centre, where we have a daily turnover of 10,000 kunas on average”, said Toni Ćaleta, adding that they try to employ local people both in stores and in production. Meanwhile, they expect to rent one more manufacturing facility of 3,500 square metres, while the plans for the next five years includes the expansion by another 9,000 square metres.