Customization positions Yankee Candle as home-fragrance leader
YANKEE CANDLE | Natick Mall, Boston
completed November 2019
size 1,000 sf
photos Gregg Shupe/Shupe Studios
Contributing Shop! member: FRCH NELSON architecture/design
Designed by award-winning retail design firm FRCH NELSON, The Yankee Candle Co.’s new concept puts fragrance first, emphasizes who the brand is today, and what it wants to share with its customers. The downsized format creates a more intimate and inviting experience. The space features a new merchandising strategy and an upgraded personalization station that allows customers to curate their own scent collection.
FRCH NELSON completed the architecture, interior design, and shared concepts for graphics for the store, along with upfront consumer research through the brand 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. The resulting concept supports the iconic brand’s migration from being a candle company to a leader in home fragrance.
“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,” says Judy Jasper, director of retail activation for The Yankee Candle Co. “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.”
The new store concept transforms the customer journey into the world of an iconic candle brand, reframing how people are introduced to, and shop for fragrances. Through a series of residential cues, shoppers can explore and curate personal fragrances, discovering what makes their home scents unique.
“We aimed to design a warm and inviting space complete with sensorial experiences, allowing customers to curate their own scent collection and enjoy a personalized more immersive shopping experience,” says Mari Miura, senior interior designer at FRCH NELSON. “We wanted to empower shoppers to discover the various scents that evoke their moods throughout their home.”
In contrast to traditional merchandising by literal product categories, a new merchandising strategy organizes products by mood, such as entertain, refresh, gather, relax, and retreat. This more effectively highlights everything the brand has to offer, including fragrance plug-ins, room sprays, and diffusers. Window bays artfully segment the shopping experience and create moments to highlight featured scents or seasonal stories.
For the first time, Yankee Candle incorporated a large customization table in the heart of the store. The design promotes a central gathering space with sample-size testers, allowing customers to experiment and test their favorite fragrances and curate 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 retail locations.
Residential design cues such as furniture-like fixtures, decorative lighting, and even a bar cart display create a warm, homey feel. The fixtures are modular in nature, double as storage for excess merchandise and can be clustered together or broken apart depending on the need.