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Number of locations
|Revenue||US$ 844.2 million (2013)|
Number of employees
|300 factory workers in Czech Republic|
|Parent||Newell 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, located in malls across 46 U.S. states, and is the largest candle manufacturer in the United States. The company is headquartered in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.
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. 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. MacIver helped fund the start-up business with earnings from his part-time job. 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. In 1975, she managed the first Yankee Candle Shop located where the Village Commons in South Hadley now stands.
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. In 1998, he sold the company to New York-based private equity company Forstmann Little for $500 million. Forstmann took the company public in 1999, 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 remained the company's chairman emeritus.
During the summer of 2006, Yankee Candle purchased 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.[dead link] The Illuminations brand and web store were phased out in early 2009. Illuminations relaunched in September of 2019 as an online-only store at Illuminations.shop. The brand will bring back all original 12 signature scents.
The founder, Michael Kittredge, in a return to high quality manufacturing created Kringle Candle, with his son Michael (Mike).
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. In 2017 Newell Brands acquired Smith Mountain Industries, makers of the Woodwick brand of candles. Woodwick candles are the premium brand sold by Yankee Candle through their stores, catalog, online and through their fundraising program, and are 100% US made.
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.
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'.
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- "Historical Timeline". Yankee Candle. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- "[어바웃 슈퍼리치] 크리스마스 선물에서 시작된 '양키캔들'의 창시자 '마이클 키트 릿지'". 시선뉴스 (in Korean). 2018-02-14. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- Whelan, David (2004-01-11). "Letting Go". Forbes. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
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- "The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. Agrees to Acquire the Illuminations Brand" (Press release). 26 July 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
- Illuminations. "Iconic Candle Brand, Illuminations, Finally on Sale September 19, 2019 in Time for the Holiday Season". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
- "Yankee Candle and Madison Dearborn Partners Announce Completion of Merger". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
- O'Brien, Tim. "Michael James Kittredge's Journey". inside.kringlecandle.com. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
- Yankee Candle sold for $1.75b to consumer products firm Boston Globe. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
- "Chocolate Layer Cake Candles | Yankee Candle". www.yankeecandle.com. Retrieved 2016-02-17.