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March 20, 2018

Village Candle taps Eimskip to reach expanding European markets

File Photo / Tim Greenway
File Photo / Tim Greenway
Larus Isfeld, Eimskip USA's managing director, shown in a 2014 file photo at the International Marine Terminal in Portland. Wells-based Village Candle announced today it that Eimskip will begin shipping its fragranced candles to expanding European markets.

About Village Candle

Founded in 1993, Village Candle is a manufacturer and multi-channel retailer of quality fragranced candles, gifts and accessories, based in Wells. Its products are sold in gift stores, grocery stores and online throughout the United States, with a growing international presence in over 32 countries. It has about 60 full-time employees.

Village Candle, the Wells-based manufacturer of scented candles, announced today it has reached an agreement with the international shipper Eimskip that will enhance the company's ability to grow its sales in the European market by shipping out of Portland.

The Eimskip shipping relationship will reduce both costs and improve delivery times to reach to European markets, Village Candle President Jeanne Hulit said in a news release announcing the company's plans to extend its brand to new and expanded markets worldwide.

"We see great potential for growth, both in the countries where Village Candle already has a strong presence as well as in new markets," said Hulit. "Our relationship with Eimskip will make it easier and more cost-effective for buyers in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe to do business with us."

Village Candle currently has distribution in 32 countries, with exports accounting for an increasing portion of the company's sales. The United Kingdom is currently Village Candle's top overseas market and one that appears poised for further expansion.

Hulit also announced the appointment of Clive Harper as president of international sales.

Harper is a veteran in the candle industry, having worked at the director level for more than 30 years, including founding Bolsius UK Ltd. in 1984 while he was employed by Bolsius BV, a major Dutch candle manufacturer. He joined Yankee Candle in 1998 and was involved in launching Yankee Candle Europe. Under his leadership, according the Village Candle news release, Yankee Candle products were successfully exported directly to 49 countries.

"We are excited to have Clive's leadership and vision, to grow Village Candle's international market share based on quality fragrance, product and service," Hulit said. "By joining the Village Candle team, Clive will help build Village Candle as the recognized premier fragranced candle brand."

Harper said he was excited to join the Village Candle team as its president of international sales.

"In 25 years, Village Candle has grown quietly into a leader in this industry," he said. "The company's quality products and brand recognition will make it a force in international markets."

Just back from U.K. trade show

Courtesy / Village Candle
Courtesy / Village Candle
SpicedNoir, one of the scented candles made by Village Candle in Wells.

In addition to today's announcements, Village Candle reported that it recently attended the Spring Fair trade show in Birmingham, England, which is the U.K.'s No.1 home and gift show for the retail industry.

The company's presence at the Spring Fair was supported in part by a STEP grant provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by the Maine International Trade Center.

At the show, Village Candle launched its new line of Metallics, which combine opulent color, décor and fragrance, wrapped in shimmering metallic. Village Candle previously received a STEP grant to explore market opportunities at the Tokyo Gifts Show in September 2017 as the company explores opportunities to expand in Asia.

"We are excited about the expanding market for fragranced home décor products worldwide," said Hulit. "We know that 95% of consumers live outside of the U.S. and we are aggressively looking to capture our share of that market."

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