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BARGAINS / GERI COOK

An Illuminating Find : Candle showroom offers flickering gems, in traditional or whimsical styles, for gifts or for home.

November 11, 1994|GERI COOK

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — A shopping spree at General Wax & Candle is a fine launching pad for the holidays. Candles in every shape and form are sold here at wholesale prices. The company manufactures about 80% of the product carried in the factory store.

Whether you're planning to utilize candles to add a special glow to your home or to give as gifts, it's a good idea to make a list before you go. Many of the items look so appealing, it's easy to get carried away. After one visit, I now wish I had purchased more of some and less of others.

But this is the perfect time to shop here, since the annual Holiday Blowout Sale is on until Dec. 10, and all General Wax & Candle products are 25% off the wholesale prices. Merchandise not of their own making is discounted an additional 15% in the 1,000-square-foot showroom.

Start in the close-out room, where everything is 70% below wholesale. Some irregulars are here, but with only minor flaws. Gold and silver tapers go for $4 a dozen, compared to $1.25 apiece at many stores. Column candles, 3 inches around and 9 inches tall, good as gifts or part of a gift basket, are only $2.25. These can run as high as $8 to $10 at other places.

In the main showroom, there are some colossal candles with three wicks that measure 8 inches tall and 6 inches across. These usually wholesale for $32, but the sale price is $27.20--for a candle that usually retails for $50 to $60. At the other extreme are the tea lights, which are tempting at 83 cents for a package of 10 or try a case of 250 for $18.

There are scented and votive candles, floaters and glow candles, pyramid candles and an amazing assortment of mystical figures including wizards and castles and sorcerers and dragons. One large dragon that has retailed for $150 regularly sells here for $39; on sale it's $33.15.

I loved the Siamese cats that stand 12 1/2 inches tall and come in black or white. But they are too pretty to light just to watch disappear. Manager Scott Messick says the cats have a short burning life so most people don't light them. You could place a tea light in the head after the wick has burned down a bit, which would extend the burning time.The cats wholesale for $17 but are further discounted to $14.45.

An elegant white swan (7 by 7 inches) would make a handsome centerpiece for a holiday table. The swans cost $11.05. Retail on the cat or swan ranges from $20 to $25.

There are candles in the shape of teddy bears, angels, winged horses, dogs, Western hats or boots, horseshoes, even a howling coyote. Some charming roses would be effective as part of a table setting. The roses retail for $6 and are usually $3.35 here, but until Dec. 10 they are $2.76. Smaller versions are $1.06 each.

This store is an excellent source for quality candles bargains, and during the sale it's even better.

Where to Shop

What: General Wax & Candle Co.

Location: 6863 Beck Ave., North Hollywood.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, until 2 p.m. Saturday. From Dec. 1-23: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, until 5 p.m. Saturday.

Cards: MasterCard and Visa.

Call: (818) 765-6357.

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