Lush boss says Brexit makes shifting production to Germany fortuitous

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Lush boss says Brexit makes shifting production to Germany fortuitous

Related tags European union United kingdom

Lush founder Mark Constantine says the clear message sent by UK Brexit voters means his type of business is not welcome there anymore.

Currently the company’s manufacturing hub in Europe is its Poole facility in Southern England, which employs around 1,400 people from many different nationalities, who pour an estimated £4.6 million into the local economy every year.

But Poole followed the majority of voters in the UK, with 58% of the town’s electorate voting in favour of Brexit, putting the wheels in motion for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union within the next three years.

‘Now all those people have been told they’re not welcome and not wanted by people in Poole, because Poole voted against it,’ ​Constantine said in an article published by local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo.

New Dusseldorf facility will fill the gap

The fact that Lush executives signed a lease deal for a new manufacturing facility in Dusseldorf, Germany at the end of last year could mean the company’s European manufacturing operations are likely to take on a very different dimension in the light of Brexit.

Indeed, Constantine has spoken of his relief that the company now has manufacturing in both the EU Zone and in the UK, as having manufacturing exposure in the EU Zone is likely to help it remain strong should new trade tariffs affect the business.

The Dusseldorf manufacturing facility is likely to play a big role in the company’s continued success, building on 18% sales growth last year, and Constantine has confirmed that he is planning to focus future recruitment at the new facility as a means of meeting this increased demand.

Further to this, Constantine has also pledged that any of his current employees at the Poole facility would be welcome to transfer to the Dusseldorf facility, should they wish.

Poole workers ‘upset’

Hilary Jones, director of Lush UK, said in a BBC interview last week that the company didn’t have enough staff to fill manufacturing positions at its manufacturing facility in the UK market.

“As the news was breaking and we were arriving in work, the upset amongst the 38 different nationalities that work with us in Poole was enormous,” Jones said.

“There were tears and we had to send some people home because they couldn’t make it through the day because the way that the leave campaign was run it was very much focused on immigration.”

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