including Apple Pumpkin, Seasons Blessings, Treehouse
Memories, Whoopie Pie, Caramel Pecan Pie, Harvest Welcome.
Comments: Sales rose about 7% last year, while net income
jumped 30%. By segment, retail sales increased 5.4% more than
$449 million, wholesale sales increased 1.2% to more than $235
million and international sales jumped more than 35% to more
than $101 million.
Retail sales were driven primarily by sales in new stores, as
well as increased sales in Yankee’s Consumer Direct division and
an increase in sales in the Fundraising division. However, comparable store sales in the 512 Yankee Candle retail stores that have
been open for more than one year remained flat, while comparable sales in the Consumer Direct business increased 20.8%.
Wholesale sales increased 1.2% due to gains in premium mass
and department store channels, partially offset by decreased sales
in the domestic gift store channel.
International sales rose on strength in the UK wholesale business and Yankee’s“store within a store” concession channel.
For 2012, Q1 sales rose 7.6% to about $155 million. Retail
sales increased 8.3% to $81 million, wholesale sales increased
5.7% to just over $50 million and international sales increased
• No, he’s not Superman, but when Yankee Candle CEO
harlan Kent went on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” he learned an awful lot about his company and himself. the television program follows a company president or Ceo as he interacts incognito with
employees from a variety of departments within the company.
For his part, Kent learned that he has “incredibly passionate
employees that care deeply about what they do—they are the
very heart of who we are and why folks love Yankee Candle.”
During his time undercover, Kent worked in a variety of
positions, including at the company’s flagship store in South
Deerfield, MA and other locations across the country. Working
side by side with retail employees and experiencing their daily
responsibilities allowed Kent to observe the company from a dif-
ferent perspective and connect with employees from the position
of a peer. It showcased the passion Kent had hoped to find and
highlighted opportunities for the organization.
“I’ve always had such respect and appreciation for our em-
ployees and it’s been important to me they feel they are treated
well by our organization—that we are looking out for them,” said
Kent. “of course, there’s always room for improvement. While
we strive to make even better products and give more value to
shoppers, it can only happen thanks to our passionate talent and
our focus on developing our employees.”
Kent’s appearance isn’t the first time that a honcho from
the household and personal products industry appeared on
“Undercover Boss.” the show’s inaugural season featured Dan
Brestle of estée Lauder.
MR. KENT GOES ‘UNDERCOVER’
9.3% to nearly $24 million. During the quarter, Yankee Candle reported a net loss of $3.5 million, but that was down substantially
from the $5.3 million in losses reported in Q1 2011.
New Store Openings Provide a Lift in First Quarter
“We saw solid revenue growth in the first quarter in all of our
businesses,” said Kent. “Sales in our consumer direct and
fundraising businesses were particularly strong year over year,
and our wholesale and international businesses had solid growth
as well. Our adjusted EBITDA was down slightly to the prior year
quarter, but consistent with our internal plans. The year-over-
year variance was driven primarily by shifts in the mix of business
within our business segments.”
Retail sales gains in the quarter were driven primarily by sales
from Yankee Candle retail stores opened after the first quarter
of 2011, increased sales in the consumer direct business, and
increased sales from the Yankee Candle fundraising division.
Total retail comparable sales, including the consumer direct busi-
ness, increased by 1.8% compared to the prior year first quarter.
Comparable store sales in the 509 Yankee Candle retail stores fell
1.2% due to a 6.1% decline in store traffic.
Gains in wholesale were driven by increased sales to the
specialty and department store channel coupled with in-
creased sales to various accounts outside the gift and premium
International sales were driven primarily by increased sales
in Yankee’s retail concession business, increased sales in its
European wholesale business outside of the United Kingdom,
and increased sales to international distributors primarily in Asia
and Latin America, the company said.
A Men’s Market
In an effort to reach guys—many of whom can go their entire
lives without making a scented candle purchase—Yankee recently rolled out scents with names like Riding Mower (the scent of
freshly cut grass), 2 X 4 (freshly planed wood and sawdust), First
Down (a combination of orange, patchouli, vetiver and leather
notes) and Man Town (a masculine blend of spices, woods and
musk). The collection, available for a limited time, debuted just
before Father’s Day and was an instant hit. In fact, Man Town
quickly became the No. 1 SKU among Yankee Candle’s 4000
According to Yankee, men make up 35% of the users in the
scented candle market.
“We were excited to bring this line of candles specifically positioned for men to market and the level of response has been
astounding,” said Kent. “In the first few days we have seen a
167% increase in unique visitors to our website over the comparable year ago time period and new visitors increased 222%. Our
Facebook engagement is up 118% and daily total reach up 115%
vs. the comparable time period the previous week.”