Why Are Bath And Body Works Candles So Expensive?

Bath & Body Works is a major retailer known for their wide variety of fragranced products including lotions, body washes, perfumes, and most famously – candles. Their signature candles come in various scents and sizes, most popular being the 3-wick 14.5oz candles. These candles have a reputation for being high-quality but expensive compared to alternatives.

Bath & Body Works started in 1990 in Cambridge, MA focusing on natural bath and body products. In 1997 they launched the White Barn Candle Company specializing in home fragrances and candles (Source: Wikipedia). Now owned by L Brands, Bath & Body Works has over 1,600 retail locations and continues innovation and expansion of their signature candle lines (Source: Bath & Body Works Our Story).

High-Quality Ingredients

bath & body works uses quality ingredients

Bath & Body Works uses high-quality ingredients in their candles to produce an excellent scent throw and clean burn. Their signature 3-wick candles are made from a blend of paraffin and vegetable-based waxes like soybean, palm, and coconut wax [1]. Paraffin wax helps the candle burn evenly while the natural waxes retain and disperse fragrance. They avoid lower quality petroleum-based waxes.

The fragrances used in Bath & Body Works candles contain a complex blend of natural and synthetic ingredients to create distinctive scents. Common natural oils include coconut, olive, palm, and essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus. Quality synthetic fragrances are added to produce unique scent combinations and balance natural ingredients [2]. All fragrances undergo rigorous testing for quality and safety.

Complex Manufacturing Process

Bath & Body Works candles go through an intricate manufacturing process that contributes to their higher price point. Unlike mass-produced candles, each Bath & Body Works candle is hand-poured and cooled in individual containers. This hand-pouring allows for precise control over the design, shape, and look of each candle.

complex manufacturing process for b&bw candles

After pouring, the candles are set aside to fully cool and solidify. Cooling each candle individually results in an even distribution of fragrance and eliminates air pockets, leading to an optimal burn. According to Reddit users, allowing adequate cooling time is crucial for strong scent throw.

Once cooled, the candles undergo a curing process that can take up to 2 weeks. Curing allows the fragrance to fully permeate the wax and stabilizes the candle structure. This extended curing results in a longer burn time and stronger hot and cold scent throw compared to rushed production [1]. The hand-pouring, controlled cooling, and prolonged curing result in a higher quality, better burning candle.

Attractive Packaging

Bath & Body Works puts a lot of effort into making their candle packaging visually appealing, which contributes to their premium pricing. The jars come in various stylish shapes like tall, faceted, globe, and low profile (Bath and Body Works – Candle Accessories). The lids often coordinate with seasonal collections and have decorative designs like polka dots, flowers, and plaids imprinted on them.

bath & body works utilizes attractive packaging

The labeling and graphics on Bath & Body Works candles are eye-catching and colorful. Each scent has its own unique label art that evokes the fragrance inside. Holiday collections like Christmas and Halloween get special edition packaging with motifs like snowflakes and jack-o’-lanterns. Even the tissue paper inside gift sets matches the ornate designs.

This decorative packaging helps make Bath & Body Works candles feel like a gift to yourself or a special treat for others. Unboxing one of their candles is an experience in itself. The appealing jars and decorative lids command a premium price and contribute to their image as gifts rather than just utilitarian household items.

In-Store Experience

One of the key factors behind Bath & Body Works’ high candle prices is the immersive in-store experience they offer customers. As soon as you walk into a Bath & Body Works location, you are immersed in lush fragrances from their wide selection of candles and body care products. The stores utilize state-of-the-art scenting systems to pump signature scents into the air, creating an aromatic environment that entices customers to buy candles and try new scents.

in-store experience drives sales of b&bw candles

Bath & Body Works encourages extensive sampling in stores. Customers can smell testers of each candle scent before deciding which ones to purchase. Consultants are on hand to provide recommendations, describe notes and accords in candle scents, and offer pairing suggestions. This experiential process helps customers discover new favorite fragrances, driving impulse purchases. The sensory bombardment in-store leads many shoppers to buy more candles than they initially planned.

In addition to scenting and sampling, Bath & Body Works utilizes attractive visual merchandising and displays to showcase their candles. their products are beautifully arranged by fragrance family, with coordinating packaging and accessories. This further tempts customers to purchase multiple candle scents. Between the ambient scenting, hands-on sampling, and enticing visuals, the in-store experience commands a premium price point for Bath & Body Works candles.

Branding and Marketing

Bath & Body Works has built a strong brand image centered around fragrance, self-care, and indulgence. They position themselves as an affordable luxury, using marketing to portray their products as little treats and pick-me-ups. Their in-store displays and advertising reinforce this image, with the signature White Barn aesthetic and messaging focused on relaxation, pampering, and self-reward (“Take time for you”).

Promotions like the semi-annual sale and ‘Buy 3 Get 3 Free’ deals on candles and body care are key strategies, driving customer excitement and purchases. Bath & Body Works also frequently collaborates with social media influencers to promote new launches and drive engagement. For example, they partnered with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio in 2020 on a limited edition fragrance line, leveraging her young fanbase (Source).

Overall, the recognizable White Barn branding and focus on “treating yourself” has built a strong connection with customers that keeps them coming back.

Product Innovation

Bath & Body Works is known for frequently releasing new and innovative scented products to keep customers excited. According to Bathandbodyworks.com, they offer hundreds of unique fragrances across candles, body care, and home fragrances. Limited edition seasonal scents drive anticipation and urgency to purchase among loyal customers.

Some of their most popular seasonal candle scents in 2023 included Vanilla Snowflake, Fresh Sparkling Snow, and Winter Candy Apple, only available during the winter holidays (PR Newswire). Bath & Body Works also innovates with new candle vessel designs, accessories like candle holders, and gift sets that pair candles with other coordinating products.

Releasing frequently updated fragrance collections keeps customers engaged and fuels repeat purchases. The novelty and exclusivity of the limited edition scents adds value and drives sales at premium price points.

Wide Distribution

One reason why Bath & Body Works candles command premium pricing is the brand’s extremely wide distribution network. Bath & Body Works has over 1,700 retail locations across the United States, Canada, and the Middle East, allowing customers to easily find and purchase products in person (Bath And Body Works Careers Homepage). The company also operates large distribution centers in Ohio to support its extensive brick-and-mortar presence (Our Supply Chain | Bath & Body Works, Inc. – Bbwinc.com).

In addition to physical retail, Bath & Body Works drives online sales through its website and mobile apps. Customers can conveniently shop online and choose home delivery or in-store pickup. This omnichannel approach makes Bath & Body Works candles readily available through customers’ preferred shopping channels.

The widespread accessibility of Bath & Body Works products also makes them popular gifts. Customers know the candles are easy to purchase and available at many locations near gift recipients, contributing to the perception of candles as a dependable, quality gift choice.

Customer Loyalty

Bath & Body Works has cultivated an extremely loyal customer base over the years. Much of this loyalty stems from customers’ love of the brand’s signature fragrances. Scents like Warm Vanilla Sugar, Japanese Cherry Blossom, and Rose have become staples that customers keep coming back for (source). The collectibility of the products, especially the candles in their decorative jars, also encourages repeat purchases. Customers eagerly await seasonal releases and limited edition collections to add to their collections (source).

There is also a strong sense of community among Bath & Body Works fans who bond over their shared love of the products on social media and in real life. Brand-sponsored events at stores help further cultivate this connection. Ultimately, the loyalty stems from Bath & Body Works’ ability to consistently deliver scents and products that delight customers and fulfill their preferences.

Pricing Strategy

Bath & Body Works candles are known for having premium pricing compared to other brands. A standard 3-wick 14.5oz candle costs $24.50 at full price (https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/c/home-fragrance/candles). This is significantly more expensive than a typical candle from Walmart or Target, which can cost $5-$10. However, Bath & Body Works justifies this pricing through quality ingredients, branding, and positioning their products as indulgences rather than necessities.

According to one analysis, Bath & Body Works prices are on average 425% more than the cheapest equivalent products (https://medium.com/@daisypickles11/the-7ps-of-bath-and-body-works-63c7c3cd339a). The company banks on customers perceiving extra value in the fragrance, packaging, and experience. Sales and promotions like “Buy 3, Get 3 Free” periodically bring prices down to an average of $6.25 per candle, further reinforcing the sense of a good deal.

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