Macy’s, Martha Stewart Settle Legal Dispute

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

NEW YORK-Macy’s Inc. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) have reached a settlement of their legal dispute regarding the sale of Martha Stewart-branded home merchandise at J.C. Penney.

In brief and almost identically worded statements, the two companies said the terms of the settlement are confidential, will not be disclosed and “are not deemed material” to either company. “We are pleased to be able to put this matter behind us,” the two companies said. “We can now return our focus to what we do best—bringing beautifully designed, high-quality, affordable products to consumers nationwide. We look forward to a continued, successful partnership together.”

The Macy’s statement added that this settlement does not effect its suit against J.C. Penney, “which remains subject to the court’s decision.”

Macy’s sued MSLO in January 2012, a month after MSLO and J.C. Penney announced an agreement to offer a wide range of Martha Stewart-branded home furnishings in both in-store shop concepts and on a dedicated website—a key part of former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson’s plan to remake the store into a retailer of more trendy merchandise. Macy’s filed a separate suit against J.C. Penney in August 2012.  Johnson left as J.C. Penney CEO last April.

Both suits alleged that the J.C. Penney-MSLO agreement interfered with Macy’s own Martha Stewart program of bedding, bath and kitchen products, which it has offered since 2007.