WASHINGTON — Rockville, Maryland-based Chesapeake Bay Candle, which was acquired by Yankee Candle owner Newell Brands for $75 million in September has opened a holiday pop-up store with its former rival in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
The 5,300-square-foot store is at 503 Broadway and will be open through Jan. 3.
Chesapeake Bay Candle started selling handmade candles in 1995 and now has retailing partnerships with hundreds of stores nationally, including large chains like Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Hallmark.
Founder Mei Xu, who continues to serve as chief executive at Chesapeake Bay, is bullish on brick-and-mortar retail.
“There is nothing like the hunt and bringing home your newfound object, even if Amazon can deliver in the next two hours to my house,” she said. “Holding that item I just bought carries a different emotional satisfaction.”
Brick-and-mortar retail is particularly suited to the scented candle business, Xu said. She said she is in the business of creating a ‘fragrance moment.’
“Not every moment in your life is a fragrance moment, but there are fragrance moments that have such a strong memory captivation that when you go home three years from now and burn that candle, it reminds you of that tender moment,” she said.
To mark their Manhattan pop-up debut, the company has created candles especially for the store with New York themes. One is called “Fall in Central Park,” and the other is called “New York City at Dawn.”
The store also includes 10 interactive exhibits, including a scent bar where visitors can test their fragrance IQ and a scented cedar forest to walk through.