Feature, Retail

Michael Grubb Studio leads Lush to lighting reinvention

Michael Grubb Studio’s lighting scheme for Lush’s flagship store in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre is an example of great lighting design and energy reduction coming together. The finished product exudes a homely and welcoming aura and Lush is set to recreate the Manchester rejuvenation in stores nationwide, adopting the new lighting design as part of their brand, an extraordinary jump for a company that has come to realise just how impactful lighting can be. The project has been met with public acclaim too and has been nominated in the Retail Lighting Project of the Year Category at this year’s Lux Awards.

The opportunity to carry out a major overhaul of a store’s lighting design is a once in a generation opportunity and in the case of Michael Grubb Studio’s work with Lush, it was an opportunity that both parties jumped at.

Lush were excited about the opportunities that a new lighting design would bring and were eager to receive advice and suggestions about what could be done in their new look Manchester store. Michael Grubb Studio only agrees to work with companies that has an ethos that sits comfortably with their own values and Lush approached them for lighting advice after being inspired by the Studio’s previous work for brands.

One of the main aims of the project was to create an immersive lighting scheme that responded to the different types of products sold.

Michael Grubb Studio aimed to create a more immersive lighting scheme for Lush, one that responded to the different types of products that are sold. ‘A one solution fits all approach to the lighting scheme would not have expanded the shopping experience, a more responsive scheme that matches the products being sold will prompt an increase in dwell time and that in turn boosts sales,’ Grubb told Lux.

Michael Grubb Studio put testing and research at the very heart of their preparation for the project. ‘Our work with Lush is a perfect example of how thorough testing will lead to the development of a successful lighting scheme,’ Grubb said, and the preparatory process for the project included lighting workshops, product testing, concept prototyping and lighting demonstrations.

The project relied on testing to ensure that both the client and the designers were happy with the way that the process was progressing.

‘It would have been very easy for Lush to back out when we told them of the changes we had in mind, but testing allowed them to see with their own eyes the effect of good quality lighting,’ Grubb added.

This process was highly beneficial because it allowed Lush to fully understand the kind of technology on offer and the revolutionary effect good lighting could have on their store. Testing also led to a growing sense of confidence on the part of Lush and Grubb, as the benefits of a particular lighting style could be made clear before installation, so there were no surprises once the project was complete.

A one solution fits all approach did not suit the project, so instead a more responsive scheme has been created.

Michael Grubb Studio also got to know Lush’s products and actually used and came to appreciate what the company’s range had to offer. This immersive technique is being continued during Grubb’s upcoming work on Lush’s spas, with the creative team going to experience what the health facilities have to offer, to get a better understanding of what lighting will be required. This embedded approach to lighting design is something that Michael Grubb will expand on at his upcoming talk at Lux Live.

The main lighting suppliers for this project were:




  • The Lux Awards will be held on the 24th of November 2016 at The InterContinental London – The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula. Tables are on sale now and you can find out more here.



  • Michael Grubb will be talking more about his work with Lush at this year’s Lux Live. The exhibition will be held in London on Wednesday 23 November  and Thursday 24 November 2016. Entry is free and you can register at www.luxlive.co.uk