SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass., April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Yankee Candle Company, Inc., the leading designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of premium scented candles, announced that Deborah Norris has been promoted to the position of Vice President General Merchandise Manager (GMM), Merchandise Planning and Allocation. In addition, the company announced Hope Margala Klein, Senior Vice President of Brand, Design and Innovation, will assume responsibility for the Company's gift and accessory development teams.
Norris brings significant experience to her new position having held several key retail leadership positions at Yankee Candle since she joined the company in 2001. Norris is now responsible for the Company's retail planning and allocation, category management, visual merchandising, store marketing and promotions, as well as the Company's Consumer Direct business. Previously, Norris held the position of Vice President of Consumer Direct, Fundraising and Outlet businesses where she was responsible for the strategic vision, revenue growth and analytical decision-making for all merchandising assortments in these divisions. Norris also previously served as Vice President of Retail Finance and Planning.
"These moves are part of Yankee Candle's ongoing commitment to invest in and develop a best-in-class organization focused on category management expertise, optimized product assortment and offerings, and enhanced productivity," said Harlan Kent, Chief Executive Officer. "Throughout her tenure at Yankee Candle, Deb has demonstrated a unique, flexible yet results-oriented leadership style allowing her to successfully drive revenue growth in her channels and keep teams motivated. She will be instrumental as we evolve the Company and continue to focus on creating and implementing industry-leading retail business practices."
"I look forward to expanding my efforts in driving the Company's analytical and strategic approach to its business merchandising planning processes," said Norris. "This focus will allow us to maximize sales and margin goals, refine our product assortment, improve our inventory productivity and continue to provide our consumers with the highest quality scented candle and home fragrance experience."
As the leader in the premium candle market, Yankee Candle continues to focus on driving market growth and leading in innovation. In this regard the Company has enhanced and streamlined its gift and accessory product assortment teams, consolidating them under the leadership of Hope Margala Klein, Senior Vice President of Brand, Design and Innovation. Margala Klein has been instrumental in leading Yankee Candle's design, decor and technology initiatives and this move allows the Company to further leverage innovation talent and resources and better align offerings across all business channels.
"Deb and Hope have provided tremendous leadership to our organization and I have every confidence that these new roles and responsibilities will further optimize our performance and align our offerings in a manner that continues our industry leadership in product assortment, variety, quality and innovation," continued Kent.
Yankee Candle also announced two additional appointments to key senior management positions. Ben Menezes was named as Vice President, Wholesale Finance and Operations, after previously holding a similar position in the Company's Retail division. Steve Richardson was named as Vice President, Retail Finance and Fundraising, after holding a similar position in the Wholesale division. In addition to furthering the development of key employees, these appointments will enhance cross-functional alignment between the Company's business divisions.
About Yankee Candle
The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. is the leading designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of premium scented candles, based on sales, in the giftware industry. Yankee Candle has a 41-year history of offering distinctive products and marketing them as affordable luxuries and consumable gifts. The Company sells its products through a North American wholesale customer network of approximately 20,200 store locations, a growing base of Company owned and operated retail stores (515 Yankee Candle Stores located in 44 states as of January 1, 2011), direct mail catalogs, and its Internet website (www.yankeecandle.com). Outside of North America, the Company sells its products primarily through its subsidiary, Yankee Candle Company (Europe), Ltd., which has an international wholesale customer network of approximately 5,000 store locations and distributors covering a combined 47 countries.
SOURCE The Yankee Candle Company, Inc.