Running a retail business is hard work. Trends are fleeting, and timing is everything. There isn’t much that “stands to reason” as the old saying goes. Seasoned buyers know what to look for when choosing a candle line, but there are new stores opening all over America everyday. How do those new owners decide which candle lines will perform best in their stores?
I speak with retailers everyday that have candle lines on the shelves that just aren’t selling. “I just can’t seem to sell candles” a dejected retailer recently told me.
Why? It is true that eighty percent of American Households burn scented candles. These households are buying the candles somewhere. Why not your store?
What candle characteristics are customers looking for? I’ve asked hundreds of customers, and the answer is always the same. Customers are looking for a candle that is highly fragrant. They want fragrances that fill their homes with tantalizing and delicious aromas. They want a candle that is going to burn uniformly, and not tunnel down the middle.
It’s pretty simple, and yet so many customers have a hard time finding a candle that meets or exceeds their expectations. Most candles that I find in some of my favorite shops are over priced and under quality. The name is easily recognized, but the quality is clearly absent.
A quality candle has a properly sized and centered wick. It has fragrance throughout
the wax. Most customers are surprised and disappointed to learn that some candle companies make candles that are fragranced only on the top of the candle. When they bring the candle home to burn, they do not get a strong or lasting fragrance.
When choosing a candle line be sure to ask questions. Does the company use “cut” fragrance oils? This will affect the strength of the fragrance. Can you purchase a sample? Though most companies are not able to send out free samples, they should allow you to purchase a sample at a somewhat discounted price. This is the best way to evaluate the quality of a candle line.