Top Companies Report

20. Yankee Candle

July 10, 2013

South Deerfield, MA
413.665.8306
www.yankeecandle.com

Sales: $844.2 million

Key Personnel:  Harlan Kent, president and CEO; Lisa McCarthy, SVP finance, CFO; Howard Barron, VP, CIO; John Fontana, president, international; Martha LaCroix, EVP, chief human resources officer; Hope Margala Klein, EVP, brand innovation and merchandising; Deb Norris, SVP fundraising and business analytics; Jim Perley, chief administrative officer; Art Rubeck, SVP, supply chain; Mike Thorne, president, wholesale; Alex Winiecki, SVP, retail stores; Brad Wolansky, president, consumer direct and CMO.

Major Products: Yankee Candle branded candle and home fragrance products; Pure Radiance by Yankee Candle; Home Classics by Yankee Candle, Simply Home by Yankee Candle, Good Air by Yankee; candle accessories; candle care products.

New Products: Limited Edition—Man Candles Collection; My Favorite Things Collection; New Lines—Pure Radiance by Yankee Candle, Relaxing Rituals by Yankee Candle; New Fragrances—Apple Pumpkin, Red Velvet, Black Coconut, Turquoise Sky, Golden Sands Summer Wish and Summer Scoop.

Comments: Yankee Holding Corp. and The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. posted favorable financial results for the full year ended Dec. 29, 2012. Total company net sales increased 7.4% to $844.2 million. Retail sales rose 9.1% to $490.2 million and wholesale sales increased 1.3% to $238.3 million. Sales in the company’s international segment jumped 14.2% to $115.7 million.

Early in 2013, the firm named Frank P. Bifulco Jr. to the company’s board of directors. He most recently served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of The Home Depot from 2008-2011. Yankee Candle also welcomed Brad Wolansky to the newly-created role of president of direct and chief marketing officer.

Wolansky’s appointment was part of a strategic initiative focused on building the company’s brands, expanding the digital platform and accelerating growth of its direct-to-consumer business, according to the firm.

Wolansky joined Yankee Candle with more than 25 years of experience with marquis brands in digital and direct marketing channels. In his new role, he is responsible for building the company’s branding efforts across all channels and lead the company’s digital branding and e-commerce efforts.

In Spring 2013, Yankee Candle kicked off its Facebook “March to a Million Golden Ticket Contest” and rolled out limited edition candle in anticipation of reaching one million Facebook fans. Those that purchase the exclusive candle were also automatically entered into the drawing for the contest.” The contest winner will receive an exclusive three-day trip the company’s flagship store in South Deerfield, MA, including a meet and greet with CEO Harlan Kent.

“We are continually excited and proud of the passion for our brand we see in fans and customers from around the world,” said Kent. “We’ve seen an 80% growth in our Facebook fans in the past year, and we wanted to acknowledge their loyalty with this exclusive contest and limited edition candle.”

Also in May, Yankee Candle launched two new fragrances and announced the return of three favorites in its popular limited edition Man Candles collection. Two new fragrances, MMM, Bacon! and Movie Night, join Man Town, First Down and Riding Mower. The collection, launched last year to tremendous response, was created uniquely for men to be enjoyed in their “man town,” whether that is the den, the basement or even the garage, said the company.

To celebrate the arrival of the collection, Yankee Candle simultaneously launched a series of social media contests, offering consumers the chance to win samples of the Man Candles II collection. The brand also encouraged fans to “share their excitement” on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #MMMBacon.

According to the company, MMM, Bacon! and Movie Night are now part of one of the most successful launches in the brand’s history. More than 10% of retail sales were contributed to Man Candles during the period of time they were in store after the launch and the line was covered in more than 400 media outlets in just two weeks. The brand also experienced a 167% increase in unique visitors to its website over the same.

Last month, Yankee Candle rolled out the “Boston Strong” candle, which is designed to honor the victims and the first responders of the bomb attacks during the Boston Marathon. All net proceeds of the commemorative candle go to the One Fund Boston, the official nonprofit organized by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Next up from Yankee Candle are Fan Candles. Touted as a unique way to show support for your favorite college team, this collection will kick off with large jar candles and a car air freshener with authentic logos of 27 colleges and universities across the country.
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