Tag Archives: home store

Martha vs. Macy’s: Martha Testified Today

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As you probably know, the Martha vs. Macy’s trial has begun. Let’s recap the relevant developments:

– In 2005, MSLO and Macy’s enter into an agreement to sell Martha Stewart branded items in Macy’s stores. The agreement gives Macy’s exclusive rights to sell Martha Stewart branded items in specific categories: bedding, bath, cookware, and dinnerware. Importantly, the agreement also contains language that allows MSLO to sell Martha Stewart branded items outside Macy’s stores, as long as they are sold in stand-alone Martha Stewart stores. (For at the time, there was a single Martha Stewart store in Japan.)

– In 2011, MSLO entered into a partnership with JC Penney to sell Martha-branded items in dedicated spaces inside JC Penney stores, essentially creating a Martha Stewart “store within a store” in JC Penney stores nationwide.

– In 2012, Macy’s sued both MSLO and JC Penney, claiming that the partnership was a breach of Macy’s exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart branded items in the specific product categories. Initially, Macy’s asked the judge to order MSLO to cease any collaborative efforts with JC Penney until after the issue was resolved at trial. However, the judge did not allow Macy’s request.

– Since then, MSLO and JC Penney have forged ahead to create MarthaHome, a “store within a store” offering three collections of products: MarthaPantry (food items), MarthaCelebrations (paper party products), and MarthaWindow (window treatments). It is also known that MSLO designers are working with JC Penney to create the “JC Penney Everyday” collection, which will offer products in those categories to which Macy’s claims to hold exclusive rights. In order to adhere to the MSLO-Macy’s exclusivity agreement, the JC Penney Everyday products will NOT have any Martha Stewart branding on them. (Although there is a connection: “Martha Stewart Everyday” was the name of Martha’s collection sold at Kmart stores from 1997 – 2009. Also, MSLO has for many years had a publication called “Everyday Food”, which also inspired a popular TV cooking show, also called “Everyday Food”.)

Today, Martha appeared in court and testified for four hours. She said that she believed her agreement with JC Penney was structured to be in compliance with the MSLO-Macy’s agreement. She also claimed that Macy’s had breached the contract by not maximizing sales of the Martha Stewart Collection at its stores. Martha claimed that she wanted to open Martha “store within a store” concept in Macy’s, but they were cool to the idea.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

From The Huffington Post:

The biggest opportunities for Martha Stewart Living are in selling products for the home, including bedding, bath and kitchen merchandise. That’s because as the housing recovery gains momentum in the economic recovery, people likely will put more money into their homes.

During her testimony on Tuesday, Stewart said she always wanted to open big shops within Macy’s stores, but the retailer never embraced that concept. Instead, she said the merchandise in Macy’s stores is just “here and there.”

That’s why she said that a proposal from Penney’s Johnson to create shops filled with home merchandise was appealing to her. She called Johnson a “visionary.”

“We hoped this business would be growing,” Stewart said. “It just boggles my mind that we’re here sitting in front of you, judge.”

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Martha vs. Macys: Pretrial Documents Begin to Appear as Court Date Approaches

As the February 20 court date approaches, we can expect to start seeing more of the pretrial details emerge. Today, Macy’s alleged that JC Penney demanded, and MSLO produced to them, proprietary information belonging to Macy’s. As expected, this will likely get messier before it gets better, as both sides battle to defend their interpretation of Martha’s contract with Macy’s, which runs through 2018. Whatever the outcome of the court case, MarthaHome shops will start appearing in JC Penney stores next month. The MarthaHome page is already live on the JC Penney website, as reported earlier.

From the Business Courier website:

In pretrial documents, Macy’s claimed it gathered evidence “documenting” a “mass of correspondence” between its rivals, in which J.C. Penney “demanded and MSLO transmitted Macy’s confidential, proprietary information.”

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Get Ready for MarthaHome!

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Special thanks to FOM Alan for sending this in!

The MarthaHome pre-launch page is live on the JC Penney website! No browsable content yet, but you can sign-up to receive updates by text message or by email. Be among the first in your area to know about special events related to the MarthaHome launch! Looks like MSLO is fairly confident of reaching agreement with Macy’s over that retailer’s lawsuit. MSLO and JC Penney could use some good news–and the launch of this new collection may be it. Can’t wait to explore MarthaHome in a JC Penney’s store!

You can click on “Find a Store” located at the top of the page, next to the search box on the JC Penney homepage, to find the store closest to you.

From the MarthaHome page:

Welcome home…to MarthaHome. A new collection of items designed to simplify your life, while adding color and individuality to the way you live. If you can imagine it, we can help make it a reality.

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Martha vs. Macys: Trial Date Set for February 19

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MSLO and Macy’s will meet in court to settle their conflicting assessments of Martha’s new J.C. Penney partnership and its impact on Martha’s existing partnership with Macy’s. Regardless of the outcome, Martha will launch her “store within a store” partnership with J.C. Penney in Spring 2013. The lawsuit will simply determine what products are offered there, as well as what brand name will appear on these products. Macy’s argues that the J.C. Penney partnership harms the competitive advantage they enjoy from having the exclusive rights to sell Martha Stewart household items, while MSLO argues that Macy’s has not been merchandising Martha Stewart items in good faith. MSLO claims that Macy’s advertises Martha Stewart items in order to attract customers, who then find Macy’s house brands, which are more profitable for the company, better merchandised and more plentifully stocked. Go, Martha, go!

From Bloomberg/Business Week website:

Macy’s Inc.’s bid to prevent Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. from executing a sales agreement with J.C. Penney Co. is set to go to trial Feb. 19.

The case won’t be tried before a jury and there will be no need to decide damages, Judge Jeffrey K. Oing said today in New York state court in Manhattan.

Any potential damages in the dispute “are going to pale in comparison to the injunction,” Oing said during a hearing. “That’s the real big bucks there — if I stop this deal.”

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She’s Back!: MSLO Elects Martha Stewart Non-Executive Chairman Of MSLO’s Board Of Directors

It’s hard to believe that whatever her title is, Martha doesn’t call the shots at her namesake company. Truth is, her role in the company probably dictates that others be dedicated to executive positions, which allows Martha to operate as its chief public representative. Whatever the particulars, I for one am glad to hear that Martha will now be recognized as MSLO’s Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. You go, Martha!

Here’s the part of the news release that I found most interesting:

In December 2011, the Company entered into a strategic alliance with J.C. Penney Company, Inc., which includes a merchandising agreement to build distinct Martha Stewart stores in jcpenney department stores, and to jointly develop an e-commerce site, both of which are expected to launch in 2013.

Sounds like the beloved Martha by Mail catalog may be returning in an online format? It remains to be seen if this e-commerce site will feature only Martha Stewart at J.C. Penney products, or if it will offer products by others that are curated by Martha and her team as was the case with the Martha By Mail catalog.

From PR NewsWire:

Martha Stewart said: “I am thrilled to be elected Non-Executive Chairman of our Board, a group that shares my deep commitment to the Company and its success. I look forward to working closely with our directors and our management team as we focus on the future, capitalizing on the strength of our brand and our amazing customer connection to continue building our business so that it realizes its full and considerable potential.”

via Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Elects Martha Stewart Non-Executive Chairman Of MSLO’s Board Of Directors – MarketWatch.

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