If you know me in real life, you probably know I’m most definitely not a sale person. Online sale? I’m the first one there. A physical sale where people grab and crush each other (think Tesco on Black Friday or 6am Next sale), no thank you.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself standing in a long Lush queue at 11am on a cold and wet Tuesday morning. I’d convinced myself that Lush was worth it. My motivation was the Snow Fairy products which were limited to the Festive Season and would probably disappear for the next nine months. Snow Fairy products at 50 percent off? The temptation was too overwhelming. Coupled with the fact that Lush had decided to forego the annual online sale, I resigned myself to waiting with the masses all with the same small hope of getting our hands on the elusive Snow Fairy at half the price. For obvious reasons, I left my husband behind (along with my daughter), because his dislike for queues as I’ve mentioned before, is unreal. The Lush sale is the only sale that comes only once a year (on Boxing Day) and is actually 50 percent off on all Seasonal items and gift sets and also any product produced before October 1st, so you can imagine why fans queue up early in the morning for a chance to get their favourite products.
Imagining a huge rush of people and all round general mayhem in the store, I was shocked to find Lush had become wiser and decided to limit the number of people in the store. Allowing a maximum of thirty people per session, the one in one out policy prevented the chaos of previous years (as I had heard from other lush fans in the queue). However this also meant all of us unlucky ones who were waiting in the queue, had to rely on the mercy of the customers in store to be quick. To be fair, I can’t even blame the customers, the staff at the till are absolutely fabulous on a normal day when the shop is running at its usual capacity, but this was the one day I was wishing they would stop the niceties and just hurry up! Watching previous customers walk out with huge bags full of Lush products made my heart sink. Would there even be anything left when it was my turn?
As we moved at snails pace towards the store, the weather being generally bipolar, decided to change from blue skies and sunshine, to blue skies and rain. Feeling cold, very cold, almost to the point of hypothermia (okay I may be exaggerating at this point, but trust me I was cold) I shuffled around in my completely rain inappropriate knee high boots and wool coat. Luckily, my sister who I managed to drag along was slightly more prepared (I had gloves, but she had an umbrella). Feeling slightly ridiculous because nobody else in the queue seemed to require an umbrella we released it over our heads and breathed a sigh of relief at being safe from at least one of the elements.
This didn’t stop the cold air from seeping into my boots, which are totally not suitable for any kind of cold weather (thank you Ted Baker) and the general feeling of numbness in my toes and fingertips. It was almost as bad as the time when I went to see the new year’s fireworks and the temperature dropped to around -1 degrees, and I begged my husband to turn back at 15 minutes to midnight because I couldn’t take the cold anymore (by then it was too late and we had to wait until the fireworks were over). The loss of sensation in my feet made me wonder if this was what frostbite felt like. Mentally rebuking myself for my inappropriate footwear I vowed to myself to dress appropriately next time (Next time? There’s going to be a next time? I highly doubt it!). Every time we moved forward I almost shouted out in glee.
One staff member kept braving the cold to give all us poor souls some mince pies as we waited patiently in the bitter cold. I was tempted to tell her to bring out bath bombs instead. That would definitely keep us warm and motivated. As we inched closer, the scent of Lush hit me. We were so close I could almost taste it. Seeing an insane queue to pay, I was surprised at how few people were browsing the store. Why won’t they let me in? What’s taking them so long at the tills? These were all questions that were answered as soon as I got into the store.
As I stepped foot into the store I wanted to dance in relief. The two frozen blocks which I usually refer to as my feet, were finally thawing. My fingers stopped feeling like they had been rifling through the chest freezer at home. Best of all, I was surrounded by gift boxes and bath bombs. Not just a few bath bombs, piles and piles of them. Fully replenished. No empty shelves here. The staggering of stock throughout the day served extremely well for people too lazy to get out of bed early (like me). Knowing that everthing was 50 percent off made my mind go into overdrive. What should I buy? What should I leave behind?
Noticing there were no baskets, I relied on my two hands to carry as much as I could. Luckily common sense took over again and I remembered why I had come. Snow Fairy. Making my way towards the Snow Fairy gift sets (the individual shower gels had already gone) I uhmmd and ahhd over the small and medium boxes, eventually picking up both. I grabbed a couple of bath bombs and quickly joined the queue noticing how slowly it was moving and how long it was getting. Luckily, the actually store was quite empty due to most people being in the queue, and I could browse all the items quite peacefully.
Getting slightly frustrated in the queue, I realised some people had bought fifty or so bath bombs and it was taking the poor staff members at the till a long long time to individually label and scan the items (Lush items do not have a prewritten barcode on loose products). Picking up a few more items whilst in the queue, it was finally my turn to pay. I had made it. I had gotten exactly what I wanted. Was it worth it? Well, if my sister hadn’t popped in a few hours later and made it into the store in 20 minutes and managed to get all the merchandise I did, I probably would have thought it was worth it. But considering I waited 2 hours in the queue outside, and probably another 30-40 minutes inside, I felt quite hard done by, knowing she had bought everything in under an hour. Would I go next year? Probably. But if they have as many gift sets as they did this year, then I would wait until later in the day when the general waiting outside has calmed down. I am glad I went as it was definitely an experience and I had great company the whole way through. Without that company, I probably would have left the queue within 30 minutes!
Did you go to any Boxing Day Sales this year? Did you experience any queues or madness? Feel free to comment below as I would love to hear your stories.