Macy’s Sues Martha Stewart Over J.C.Penney Deal


Since 2006, Macy’s has carried the Martha Stewart Collection of home products under the banner, “Only at Macy’s.” So when Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia struck a 10-year deal last month to sell some branded products at rival department store J.C.Penney, which also acquired a large stake in MSLO, Macy’s legal department took notice.

Today Macy’s filed a New York state Supreme Court filing to stop Martha Stewart’s company from moving ahead with the J.C.Penney arrangement, which includes launching an e-commerce site and branded in-store boutiques in 2013, and to reinforce its existing contract.[more]

Macy’s has leveraged Stewart’s personal brand in its TV and online advertising, including sending her to redecorate a frat house (above) and to boost Christmas sales (below). It’s an arrangement that Macy’s hoped Stewart also saw as a “good thing” for both parties — until she took up with its retail rival.

According to Reuters, Macy’s said in a statement that it had “renewed its agreement to exclusively sell Martha Stewart-branded product in categories such as cookware, kitchen utensils, bed and bath for another five years,” through January 2018.

Macy’s said it went to court to enforce the agreement signed by Martha Stewart Living in 2006 “in which the right for Macy’s to sell product exclusively in these categories was clearly outlined.”

Martha Stewart Living and J.C.Penney did not comment to Reuters, although MSLO pointed out Macy’s intent “to extend its commercial agreement with MSLO to feature and promote the Martha Stewart Collection — its #1 home brand — in Macy’s stores.”