Does Yankee Candle Own Chesapeake Candle?

Yankee Candle and Chesapeake Bay Candle are two of the largest candle brands in the United States. Yankee Candle, founded in 1969, is known for its wide array of scented candles sold in its flagship stores. Based in Massachusetts, it has grown to operate more than 250 retail locations across North America. Chesapeake Bay Candle, founded in 1994, started as a small homemade candle company in Maryland and has expanded to become a major manufacturer and retailer of scented candles and home fragrance products. Though starting out as two independent companies on the East Coast, the two brands came together in 2013 when Yankee Candle acquired Chesapeake Bay Candle.

History of Yankee Candle

Yankee Candle was founded in 1969 by Michael Kittredge, a teenager at the time, in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Kittredge initially started making candles as a way to make Christmas presents on a limited budget. Using wax from melted crayons, Kittredge melted the crayons and poured the wax into old milk containers to make his homemade candles. The handmade candles became popular locally, and people started asking Kittredge if they could buy them from him. Seeing a business opportunity, Kittredge began selling his candles to local gift shops before opening his own candle shop called Yankee Candle in 1969.

Growth of Yankee Candle

Yankee Candle experienced tremendous growth from its early beginnings as a small family business in 1969. Within 10 years, Yankee Candle had opened a factory store in South Deerfield, Massachusetts and by 1989 had become the largest manufacturer of scented candles in the United States.

The 1990s and 2000s saw even more expansion for the company. Yankee Candle opened more retail stores across the country, including mall kiosks and flagship stores. The company also expanded internationally with its first retail store in Japan in 1999.

In 1998, Yankee Candle acquired the Illuminations candle brand, furthering its dominance of the scented candle market. Continued acquisitions followed in the 2000s, including Sunshine Candle Company and Li’l Berries.

Along with retail store expansion, Yankee Candle significantly grew its wholesale business by selling products in department stores, gift shops and other retailers. By the late 1990s, Yankee Candle products could be found in thousands of stores.

Revenue rose steadily, reaching $785 million by 2007. The growth positioned Yankee Candle as the undisputed market leader in home fragrance.

History of Chesapeake Bay Candle

Chesapeake Bay Candle was founded in 1994 by Mei Xu in Crownsville, Maryland. Xu got the idea to start the company after receiving candles made from natural materials as a wedding gift. At the time, most candles on the market were made from paraffin wax, so Xu saw an opportunity to create a line of natural soy candles. She started by making the candles in her home kitchen and selling them at local craft fairs in the Chesapeake Bay area. The natural, clean-burning candles were an instant hit with customers, and demand grew quickly. Within a few years, Xu had opened her first retail store in Annapolis, Maryland and was rapidly expanding distribution across the country. By the late 1990s, Chesapeake Bay Candle had become one of the leading makers of natural soy candles in America.

Growth of Chesapeake Bay Candle

Chesapeake Bay Candle was founded in 1994 in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region by Mei Xu. The company saw steady growth in its early years as it capitalized on the public’s growing appetite for scented candles and home fragrance products.

By the late 1990s, Chesapeake Bay Candle began expanding beyond its original store in Maryland. The company opened its first major retail store in 1996 at Harborplace in Baltimore. This marked the beginning of an aggressive retail expansion throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

In the early 2000s, Chesapeake Bay Candle continued to grow through opening more retail stores, catalog mailings, and a newly launched website. The company’s revenue grew from $5 million in 2000 to over $20 million by 2005. This rapid growth was fueled by Chesapeake’s popularity for offering unique, nature-inspired fragrances in attractive packaging.

A key driver of Chesapeake Bay Candle’s success was its branding around the Chesapeake Bay region. By marketing itself as an authentic Chesapeake lifestyle brand, the company was able to differentiate itself from larger candle brands like Yankee Candle. This regional branding struck a chord with consumers and helped the company carve out a niche in the competitive home fragrance market.

Yankee Candle Acquires Chesapeake Bay Candle

In August 2013, Yankee Candle announced that it had acquired Chesapeake Bay Candle for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition allowed Yankee Candle to expand its product offerings into the premium candle segment that Chesapeake Bay Candle occupied.

Chesapeake Bay Candle was founded in 1994 in Maryland and had grown to become one of the leading premium candle brands in America. The company was known for its innovative fragrances, creative designs, and high-quality ingredients.

The acquisition provided Yankee Candle with access to Chesapeake Bay Candle’s production facility in Glen Burnie, Maryland. This state-of-the-art facility gave Yankee Candle expanded manufacturing capabilities on the East Coast to complement its other facilities in Massachusetts and South Carolina.

According to Yankee Candle, Chesapeake Bay Candle would continue normal operations as a separate brand and entity. The goal was to leverage the strengths of both companies to better serve customers and expand market reach.

Operations Since Acquisition

In 2013, Yankee Candle acquired Chesapeake Bay Candle for an undisclosed amount. Since then, both brands have continued to operate independently while benefiting from shared resources.

Chesapeake Bay Candle has maintained its own manufacturing facility in Maryland where its candles are hand-poured. The brand has continued releasing new fragrances and products each season. Chesapeake Bay Candle has also expanded into more major retail stores while still selling through its website, direct mail catalog, and small gift shops. The acquisition has provided them with greater distribution capabilities and operational support.

Yankee Candle has operated its flagship business as usual, selling premium candles, home fragrances, and other home decor items. They have leveraged synergies in the backend, consolidating supply chain management, IT systems, and corporate functions. However, Yankee Candle stores and products have retained a separate identity from Chesapeake Bay Candle. The two brands remain differentiated in their pricing, aesthetics, and target consumer.

Brand Positioning

Both Yankee Candle and Chesapeake Bay Candle position themselves as premium candle brands, but they differentiate themselves in a few key ways.

Yankee Candle established itself early on as an iconic American candle brand by emphasizing homespun craftsmanship and high-quality, long-lasting scented candles. Their branding evokes warmth, nostalgia, and authenticity. Yankee Candle aims to be the quintessential scented candle that comes to mind for gift-giving and home decor.

In contrast, Chesapeake Bay Candle positioned itself as a more natural, eco-conscious brand that draws inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay region. Their candles use essential oils and aim to capture the essence of East Coast landscapes. The branding focuses on natural ingredients, environmental responsibility, and preserving local tradition. Chesapeake aims to provide an authentic, nature-inspired candle experience.

While both brands aim for the premium scented candle market, Yankee Candle built their reputation on candle craftsmanship and iconic scents, while Chesapeake Bay Candle differentiated with their eco-friendly, natural image that evokes a sense of place.

Product Offerings

Both Yankee Candle and Chesapeake Bay Candle offer a wide range of scented candles and home fragrance products. However, there are some key differences between the two brands.

Yankee Candle is known for its vast selection of candle scents, with over 150 fragrances available. The signature Yankee Candle jar candles come in a variety of sizes, from small votive candles to extra-large 22oz jars that can burn for up to 150 hours. Yankee also offers candle accessories, wax melts, room sprays, and electric home fragrances. Prices range from around $1 for tealight candles to $30 for large jar candles.

Chesapeake Bay Candle, while owned by Yankee Candle, aims to maintain its own distinct identity and branding. The product lineup is smaller, focused on nature-inspired scents like beachwood, sailor’s breeze, and water lily. The signature item is the 3-wick tumbler candle. Chesapeake Bay Candle also sells wax melts, room sprays, and reed diffusers. Price points are similar to Yankee Candle, from $5-$6 for a small candle up to $25 for a large 3-wick tumbler.

In summary, while there is some overlap, Yankee Candle focuses on a huge variety of fragrances while Chesapeake Bay Candle sticks to a more select seaside-inspired scent collection. Both offer quality candles and home fragrance products at competitive prices.

Conclusion: Business Relationship

To summarize, Yankee Candle is the current parent company and owner of Chesapeake Bay Candle. In 2010, Yankee Candle acquired Chesapeake Bay Candle as part of an initiative to expand into the luxury candle market. Since the acquisition, Chesapeake Bay Candle has operated as a subsidiary of Yankee Candle, producing a distinct line of luxury candles while benefiting from Yankee Candle’s resources and distribution network. Both brands continue to operate independently today, with Yankee Candle positioned as an affordable, mass-market brand and Chesapeake Bay Candle serving the premium candle segment. While Chesapeake Bay Candle retains its own brand identity, Yankee Candle is the ultimate owner and has integrated Chesapeake into its portfolio of candle brands.

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