Yankee Candle

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The Yankee Candle Company, Inc.
IndustryConsumer products
Founded1969; 50 years ago (1969)
FounderMichael Kittredge
Number of locations
RevenueUS$ 844.2 million (2013)[1]
ParentNewell Brands (2013–present)

The Yankee Candle Company (referred to simply as Yankee Candle) is an American manufacturer and retailer of scented candles, candleholders, accessories, and dinnerware. Its products are sold by thousands of gift shops nationwide, through catalogs, and online, and in nearly 50 countries around the world. The company operates about 580 small-box format stores,[1] located in malls across 46 U.S. states, and is the largest candle shop in the United States. The company is headquartered in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The Jarden Corporation agreed to buy candle maker Yankee Candle for $1.75 billion in the fall of 2013.[2] In 2015, Newell Rubbermaid announced that it would acquire Jarden for over $15 billion of cash and stock.


The Yankee Candle store in the Newport Center Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Yankee Candle Company was started in South Hadley, Massachusetts when Michael Kittredge, originally from Holyoke, Massachusetts, created his first scented candle, Christmas 1969, from melted crayons as a gift for his mother.[3] Neighbors began expressing interest in buying his creations, and Kittredge began producing them in larger quantities. The company itself was founded with help from Donald MacIver and Susan Obremski, who were high school friends with Kittredge.[citation needed] MacIver helped fund the start-up business with earnings from his part-time job.[citation needed] Candle production grew considerably after Obremski's father devised a "heated room", which enabled cost-saving liquid wax deliveries at the first factory site in Holyoke. Obremski's invention of a turntable taper wheel allowed production to double, while at the same time decreasing the need for more labor hours.[citation needed] In 1975, she managed the first Yankee Candle Shop located where the Village Commons in South Hadley now stands.[citation needed]

The company slowly expanded and moved to South Deerfield in 1983.

After a cancer scare in 1993, Kittredge started handing the company over to a friend and employee.[4] In 1998, he sold the company to New York-based private equity company Forstmann Little for $500 million.[4] Forstmann took the company public in 1999,[5] and in 2001, hired Craig Rydin as a CEO. Rydin launched a major advertising campaign and the line was picked up by mass retailers Linens-N-Things and Bed, Bath and Beyond, pushing sales to their highest levels yet. Kittredge remains the company's chairman emeritus.

During the summer of 2006, Yankee Candle purchased[6] Illuminations, a Petaluma, California-based, multi-channel retailer of high quality candles and home accessories. Although the two companies were similar, the names were separated, with Illuminations being aimed at a different demographic.[6][dead link] The Illuminations brand and web store were phased out in early 2009.

On February 6, 2007, the company was acquired by the private equity group of Madison Dearborn Partners LLC for approximately $1.6 billion.[7]

The founder, Michael Kittredge, subsequently created Kringle Candle, with his son Michael (Mike).[8]

In October 2012 Yankee Candle Europe launched their Consumer Direct website offering their products direct to consumers.

In 2013, Jarden acquired Yankee Candle. A further merger in 2016 saw Jarden purchased by Newell Rubbermaid and combined into the new company Newell Brands.[9] In 2017 Newell Brands acquired Smith Mountain Industries, makers of the Woodwick brand of candles. Woodwick candles are now sold by Yankee Candle through their stores, catalog, online and through their fundraising program.

Flagship store[edit]

The grounds outside the candle making museum.

Yankee Candle's flagship store, which opened in 1982, is located in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. It features all available Yankee Candles as well as kitchen and home accessories, New England crafts, gifts and collectibles, a toy shop, picnic grounds and a "Bavarian Christmas Village" filled with decorated Christmas trees and a toy train that runs through to Santa's Workshop, where animated elves and an 'assembly line' for wooden vehicles surround Santa Claus's desk. Visitors can dip their own candles in a specially equipped area, make wax molds of their hands, or create their own unique candle. There is also a candle making museum and a Hillside Pizza cafe on site.

A second flagship store was opened in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2005. At 10,000 square feet (930 m2), it is about 1/3 the size of the South Deerfield store.


Interior of the Yankee Candle store in the Newport Center Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Yankee Candle Company markets an array of products, including candles of various scents and sizes, scented wax tarts, candle accessories, votive candles (samplers), votive candle holders, tart warmers, jar toppers (for use with the Housewarmer line of candles), reed diffusers, Electric Home Fragrance units (scented wall plug-ins), car scents, room sprays, Good Air products, and more. They also periodically release a range of limited edition candles such as 'Chocolate Layer Cake'.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ng, Serena (2013-09-03). "Yankee Candle Agrees to $1.75 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  2. ^ Roumeliotis, Greg (2013-09-03). "Jarden to buy Yankee Candle for $1.75 billion". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  3. ^ "Historical Timeline". Yankee Candle. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  4. ^ a b Whelan, David (2004-01-11). "Letting Go". Forbes. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  5. ^ Yankee Candle Profile – BostonJobSource.com
  6. ^ a b "The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. Agrees to Acquire the Illuminations Brand" (Press release). 26 July 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Yankee Candle and Madison Dearborn Partners Announce Completion of Merger". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  8. ^ O'Brien, Tim. "Michael James Kittredge's Journey". inside.kringlecandle.com. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  9. ^ Yankee Candle sold for $1.75b to consumer products firm Boston Globe. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Chocolate Layer Cake Candles | Yankee Candle". www.yankeecandle.com. Retrieved 2016-02-17.

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