LookFantastic is an international beauty retailer owned by the Hut Group. It is not my retailer of choice nor my favourite retailer and I am sure many of you agree with this sentiment, however it is perhaps the most convenient retailer of them all. They carry basically every single brand you could imagine (a bit of an exaggeration) and they have offers running all the time and I do mean ALL the time.
So while I am not the retailer’s number one fan. I do admit it is one I turn to often due to the above mentioned offers and many, many beauty boxes.
A few weeks ago, LookFantastic ran an offer for 3 for 2 random beauty boxes. I decided to go for it because why not?
This is not my first time getting a 3 for 2 beauty box offer from them, In fact, many Novermbers (it was a Black Friday offer) ago when I got my first ever order from LookFantastic I got something similar; three editions of their Christmas beauty boxes. That year, they released multiple boxes and if you subscribed, you would get a random box out of the three. I loved them all so decided to go for the offer.
This time around though, the boxes were supposed to be randomly selected out of the beauty boxes released in 2020. I have not subscribed at all in 2020 (update: by that point) so did not have any of the boxes. Consequently, I thought it would be nice to get some prior boxes.
What ended up happening?
I got my boxes alright, but random my a**. Honestly! I got three identical boxes. Even the outer boxes which contained these coral boxes pictured had the exact same barcode.
There is a small chance of this happening even if it is indeed a random event. But not even the one product inside that comes is 2 variants was different. The boxes were 100% identical. This makes it an even small chance of it being just one of those things that sometimes happen. It could still be a random thing, but the chances are pretty darn small.
I was ready to get 2 identical boxes and perhaps a different one, it happens. When I saw the three boxes, I was okay with it and hoped that at least a product would come in a different shade or something. That is not uncommon to happen. However when I discovered that indeed there were two variants of a product and yet I got the same in every single box, then I got a bit annoyed.
Look, I posted about this on IG a few weeks ago and based on the comments and messages I received, I feel that people misunderstood (probably my fault) so that is why I decided to share my experience with you here as well. I assume this whole experience. It was my choice to get the offer and I am more than fine with it. Really. I was a bit chuffed at first because I was looking forward to getting some older boxes that I missed out on and instead I ended up with three identical boxes and not necessarily boxes filled with products I will use.
I do have a use for one and others I will try, but there are two products in each box that I have no use for whatsoever.
It is pretty sad really. However, it happens. I truly get that. It happens and that is it. Or at least, it should be. This whole experience made me think though, perhaps a bit too much. I really hope that what follows will not alienate some of you and get where I am coming from, but I do understand that what I am writing is from a position of privilege and as much as I might try to understand a situation, I will never be able to do so in the same way as if I were in said situation.
I mentioned above that the three boxes had a barcode on them. This means that the person fulfilling the order could have checked and made sure that at least one of them were different. In order for that to happen, the person in question had to have cared. However, I am not blaming the worker who dealt with wrapping the parcel. They were probably overworked, finding themselves forced to go into work to make ends meet and do their job under stressful circumstances with no choice whatsoever. It is not like many other companies are hiring or landlord/utility companies/supermarkets offering anything for free.
No, I am really not blaming the person fulfilling the order. This comes from above, from someone in a management position. Plus, this is not the first time something like this happens. This means that there is someone higher up that does not care one, for the wellbeing of their employees and two, for the customers. It is hard to lead in times of change and times of adversity, we have seen people at higher levels than a simple company try and fail.
Plus, one does not always get it right, some people were born to lead while others try and fail. I experienced both kinds of leadership and even myself failed at one point or another when I found myself in such a position. There is no shame in admitting that. However the point is that you have to at least try to become a good leader that inspires others and helps others grow. I am wondering whether such companies that deal in “fast” this and that ever stop and think about this or they just keep going like nothing is ever wrong. I am becoming too philosophical and there is no one here to stop me. Please stop me!
This is just one example of what is most likely wrong with this industry. However, similar examples can be found in other industries as well. No question about that. I am speculating here of course, I have no proof, but it got me thinking. you know? The world would be considerably different if people would care enough to make a change and care enough despite personal circumstances to do their best and work hard even at a job they hate and help and support each other try harder, grow and become better.
At the end of the day, such improvements are in a company’s interest. Happy employees pay more attention, are more careful ensuring their customer’s happiness, especially in cases such as this one which could have been avoided.
I want to add that this is not the first disappointment I dealt with while dealing with LookFantastic in 2020. Earlier in 2020, I got the Science of Beauty limited edition box and one of the higher value items, a hair mask from Christophe Robin was expired. Now that was way more disappointing than this instance I told you above. That product is from a brand I love, but one that is quite pricey just to try without knowing what you are spending your money on. I was looking forward for finally trying out the product without making the investment. This, in my opinion, is another case in which care comes into play. It is not hard to ensure that a product is still good before sending it to customers.
I know that the retailer is pushing sales more than usual. They are not motivated just by the probable decrease in sales they might have seen lately, but also about the fact that the Hut Group, the LF parent company is planning to go public – get listed on the stock market. (update: the company is already listed so the interest is in growing its stock price, despite this being a huge mistake especially if they have no real value to fall back on). When a company goes public, the financials of that company become public record as every listed company is required to publish their annual report/set of financial statements. Furthermore, the true value of a company becomes more clear. If before a company could claim and raise venture capital (or other types of funding) at a supposed valuation. that is no longer the case as the transparency levels increase considerably and the intrinsic value of a company is exposed. So basically, no matter what a company claims it is worth, if the intrinsic value of the company is smaller then that will be reflected after their IPO. A lot is at stake. This is a simplified explanation, but you get the point.
What started as a small disappointment with a beauty box turned into something way more. I probably overstepped this time and I am sorry. I am truly sorry if you found it too much. I do not mean to drag the retailer down with this post. I have nothing against it per se, I shop there and will probably do so again at one point. Call me a hypocrite, I feel like one. However, in my mind at least, it is pretty much clear that these challenging times are not bringing out the best in people/companies. This to me is a time to stand together and work together to make it though, thus the reason why I sometimes buy more than I should or need rather than invest my money more carefully. This is a time to show respect and for retailers to prove that they are doing the right thing for both customers and employees and I am not getting that from many.
Okay, I head myself. I am way off most likely, but decided to share this with you even if it means putting the future of this blog at risk, in order to open the conversation on this topic and see what YOU think.
How do you feel about LookFantastic? What is you opinion on beauty retailers in general, especially given the current context?
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