Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 59


uary 2014, while the Carlyle Group
acquired PartyLite in October 2015.
What they recognized was a great opportunity to create operational synergies and gain significant benefits from
bringing these two companies together, with the merger of Candle-lite and
PartyLite under the umbrella of Luminex HDF, completed in May 2016.
"One of the primary benefits in
bringing these two home fragrances
leaders together was the fact they are
quite complementary to each other in
the way they reach consumers," CEO
Calvin Johnston says. "While we are
able to create tremendous synergies in
leveraging a shared service model on
the back-end through integrating finance, IT, manufacturing, distribution
and product development, we can now
engage and appeal to a broader consumer base then before. Not only do
we now reach more consumers through
very different channels of distribution,
we can do it on a global scale.
"Candle-lite has been primarily a
North American retail-focused business while Partylite's largest market is
in Europe," he continues. "Going forward, we will be able to leverage our
infrastructure to expand both businesses into new markets. Through the
integration of the companies, we can
redeploy capital and operating budgets
into product development, operational
efficiencies and people to help us grow."

Company Integration
Thanks to the merger, Luminex HDF
is able to make significant investments
in its main manufacturing and distribution center. The company is investing
more than $15 million in integration
capabilities alone, which include overall
process improvement, equipment automation and new IT systems.
"In any merger, you're bringing together distinct organizations that have
operated independently and the key is
getting them to work together - quickly," Johnston explains. "Because we've

created a shared service model, people
are working together across the business
units from product development, forecasting and planning, manufacturing,
finance and more. The challenge comes
when you're melding those companies
together through processes and new reporting relationships while creating the
right balance so you can still maintain
the distinct nature of each company."
Both Candle-lite and PartyLite
have long-standing cultures embedded within each company. A challenge
for Luminex HDF's executive team is
to create a common bond under this
new company umbrella while not taking away the unique strengths of each
company. "That is a balancing act we
work at every day to achieve," Johnston
says. "While we're still in our infancy in
terms of working together, a key, central
question is: How do we keep the best of
both cultures but bind people together
under Luminex?"
While most employees have a long
tenure and were at first apprehensive
of the merger, they quickly embraced
the idea of working together. Johnston
says he expected it to take at least a year
to bridge the two companies, but that
has already been accomplished in the
first five months. "It came down to how
quickly people supported the strategy,
understood what was asked of them
and made tremendous sacrifices with
workload and commitments to bringing the organizations together," he says.
"That speaks highly of the people we
have, the quality of their work in the
way they've handled the changes and
how quickly they've come together."

New Products
Merging the two companies also meant
keeping a unique and distinctive brand
and product portfolio for both Candle-lite and PartyLite. This is likely to
help strengthen the financial health
and performance of the company by
extending the reach of the company to
even more consumers.
November/December 2016

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 8
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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