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Yankee Candle to shut stores, shed jobs

Yankee Candle chairman and chief executive Craig Rydin said the restructuring does not affect the company's plans to open new retail stores. Yankee Candle chairman and chief executive Craig Rydin said the restructuring does not affect the company's plans to open new retail stores. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File 2002)
Associated Press / January 21, 2009
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SOUTH DEERFIELD - Yankee Holding Corp. and its subsidiary The Yankee Candle Co. said yesterday the company is slashing 330 jobs as part of a restructuring plan that includes closing its 28 Illuminations retail stores.

Yankee is also discontinuing its Illuminations consumer direct business and closing one underperforming Yankee Candle retail store.

The job cuts include about 310 store employees and field personnel in the Illuminations division, about 10 store employees at the closing Yankee Candle retail store, and about 12 corporate and administrative personnel at corporate headquarters.

According to Capital IQ, the company has 3,800 employees and operated 459 retail stores at the end of 2007. Yankee Candle, which makes and sells candles and accessories, was acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC in February 2007.

The company expects to book about $18 million to $22 million in restructuring charges in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. About half of the total will be cash charges, Yankee said.

The company expects to complete nearly all of its restructuring plan by April 30. Yankee said all affected full- and part-time employees are being offered a severance package.

In a statement, Yankee Candle chairman and chief executive Craig Rydin said the action is part of the company's ongoing efforts to reduce its cost structure, focus its resources on the core Yankee Candle business, improve its return on invested capital, and increase operating efficiency.

The company expects to close the Illuminations stores - which are located primarily on the West Coast - by April 30. Rydin said the company plans to continue developing and marketing Illuminations branded products mostly through its wholesale business.

Rydin also noted the restructuring does not affect plans to open new Yankee Candle retail stores.

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