Dylan's CandyBar is a Candyland of wonders for the well-heeled on Manhattan's Upper East Side and beyond. Founded in 2001 by Dylan Lauren (daughter of designer Ralph Lauren), and candy store veteran Jeff Rubin (no longer associated with the company), Dylan's Candy Bar has hit the big time. Boasting three stories of candy (including more than 5,000 kinds) and gifts and apparel, a ten-foot artificial chocolate bunny, and staircases laden with gummy candies, the candy retailer's Manhattan location has become a tourist draw in its own right. It also sports a café, bar, and private party rooms. Dylan's, which has five locations in New York, Florida, and Texas, aspires to open stores in London and Tokyo eventually.
The candy company has also been expanding its product line beyond sweets. Additions include Dylan's brand track suits, candy striped bags, apparel, "I Love Candy" bangles, and more. Many of its candy items are creatively packaged in containers such as lunch boxes, tackle boxes, faux flip flop sandals. Its confections and other products are carried by other retailers including Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, and Urban Outfitters, among others.
The product line isn't the only thing that's expanding. The flagship store's makeover in 2008 included the addition of 5,000 sq. ft., making it the self-proclaimed world's largest candy store at 15,000 sq. ft. At the time, private consultation and party rooms, along with a bar (for patrons over 21) were added.
CEO Lauren, who is the sole owner of Dylan's CandyBar, has been approached by the likes of Target, Harrods, and Selfridges regarding distribution deals. She has turned them down and parted ways with co-founder Rubin (in 2004, both say it was amicable) over his desire to go mass market while she prefers to maintain the cache of fewer stores and limited availability. The candy and marketing maven has even written a book on candy: Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life. The book, which was released in October 2010 to coincide with Halloween, is full of ideas for entertaining that involve candy, of course. – less
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