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Yankee Candle lights way into home

Broadening its brand by entering the home category, Yankee Candle just opened its 16,000-square-foot home store within its flagship location here.

The flagship store, which measures 90,000 square feet and offers candles, accessories and Christmas products, is the second largest tourist attraction in New England after the Freedom Trail, said Traci Pushkin, buyer, home accessories, with 2.5 million visitors a year.

The home store will serve as an "incubator to look at how we can extend the Yankee Candle brand," said Susan Stockman, spokeswoman. Currently, the company has no plans to incorporate the home store into any of its other locations.

The merchandise in the home store is not as "country oriented" as in the rest of the flagship, Pushkin said, but is of a "cleaner, casual cottage look." The store divides the merchandise by rooms of the home, with areas for garden, kitchen, living, bath and bedroom. The kitchen area, which includes a 2,000-square-foot working kitchen for demonstrations and tastings, represents the largest area in the store, she said, followed by the garden area.

Products within each area cross all categories, including lighting, hardware, small furniture, wall art, pottery and, at approximately 30 percent of the merchandise, domestics.

With a total of 190 skus, area, scatter and bath rugs constitute the largest portion of textiles, Pushkin said, since they're "an easy way to change a home's decor" and the local market lacks a good rug source. Rug vendors include Company C, Global Home and Indoor Home.

About 220 skus round out the other domestics areas, including an "extensive" line of decorative pillows, as well as top-of-bed quilts and throws, table linens, window panels, and fabric shower curtains with accent bath towels.

"This is not a big-box format," Pushkin added. "We have unique home accents, not stuff you'll find in the masses. It's creative and well-priced."

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