The Yankee Candle Company wants to be known as a leader in home fragrance, not just a candle company.
The iconic candle brand debuted a new store concept at Natick Mall, Natick, Mass., that features an untraditional merchandising strategy and an upgraded personalization station that allows customers to curate their own scents and enjoy an immersive experience into home fragrances. Featuring an intentionally smaller footprint than traditional Yankee Candle Stores, the 1,000-sq.-ft. space offers a more intimate and inviting experience.
Designed by FRCH Nelson, the new concept puts fragrance first and emphasizes Yankee Candle’s updated market positioning.
“We wanted to ensure the new direction would resonate with our loyal customers, while inspiring and connecting with an audience that hasn't experienced our brand yet,” said Judy Jasper, director, retail activation, The Yankee Candle Company. “As consumer needs and shopper expectations evolve, this store concept allows us to iterate and experiment as we go – which is in essence, the art of retail.”
A large customization table is located in the heart of the store. It serves as a central gathering place with sample-size testers, allowing customers to experiment and test their favorite fragrances and create their own scent portfolios. (They can also customize candle labels with a photo of their choice along with a personal message, a popular Yankee Candle offering at most of its stores.)
Residential design cues, including furniture-styled fixtures, decorative lighting and a bar cart display, create a warm, homey feel. The fixtures are modular in nature, double as storage for excess merchandise and can also be clustered together or broken apart depending on the need.
The new merchandising strategy departs from organizing products by traditional categories and instead displays them by the mood they convey, such as entertain, refresh, relax and retreat. It also focuses more on highlighting the brand’s full range of product, including fragrance plug-ins, room sprays, diffusers, and more. Products are stored within window bays, segmenting the shopping experience and creating moments to highlight featured scents or seasonal stories.
FRCH Nelson completed the architecture, interior design, and shared concepts for graphics for the store, along with upfront consumer research through its band strategy team. Together with Yankee Candle, the firm evaluated the current environment, conducting market and consumer research and validation testing to align on the new “World of Home Fragrance” concept.