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Harry Slatkin, who joined Limited Brands Inc. when the company acquired his Slatkin & Co. home fragrance business in 2005 — and in turn became president of home design for Limited — has taken on a consultancy role with the Columbus, Ohio-based firm.
This story first appeared in the July 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The parties recently came to a mutual, amicable agreement when Slatkin asked to pursue other opportunities outside the company.
“I’m an entrepreneur and I love to fix and grow businesses,” Slatkin said Tuesday, “and I did that here. It was an amazing five years but I thought about what I wanted for my next challenge.
“I talked to Les [Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer of Limited Brands] and Diane [Neal, ceo of Bath & Body Works], and they wanted to make it work so I could stay with the brand. I believe in Slatkin & Co. very much, where it is going [and] its customer base.”
Next up for Slatkin? While he would not disclose specifics about his plans, he noted that he is to become an investor by October in an existing entity — outside the fragrance industry.
Limited will continue to own the Slatkin & Co. brand, which is said to be the fastest growing home fragrance brand in the BBW portfolio. Slatkin will consult on product creation — Slatkin & Co. produces BBW’s branded home fragrance products — but will step away from the business side of operations.
Slatkin, who will work for Limited a certain amount of time each week, plans to continue as the face of Slatkin & Co. on QVC, where, he claimed, it is the number-one home fragrance brand, and will continue to help with public relations efforts. Aside from QVC, Slatkin & Co. products are carried exclusively at BBW and the retailer’s Web site.
Slatkin helped integrate his home fragrance company into BBW and was integral in building the retailer’s home fragrance business — to, according to projections by market sources, an estimated $600 million for 2010 — almost tripling the size of the business in five years.
“Harry is a remarkable leader and entrepreneur,” stated Wexner. “His expertise and creativity in home fragrance has been a tremendous asset to Bath & Body Works and Limited Brands.”
Slatkin launched his fragrance business 18 years ago and, aside from signature home fragrance items, the firm created collections for Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Vera Wang, Elton John and Chopard to name a few. His wife, Laura, runs the private label business that produces those products.