Macy’s Sues, Renews with Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart promoting her Macy's collection in 2007

Martha Stewart promoting her Macy’s collection in 2007

NEW YORK–Macy’s has filed a lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) regarding its recent deal with J.C. Penney that involves MSLO home products.

At the same time, according to a statement from the department-store retailer obtained by HFN, it has renewed its agreement with MSLO for another five years. The statement said, “Macy’s has renewed its agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to exclusively sell Martha Stewart-branded product in categories such as cookware, kitchen utensils, bed and bath for another five years (the current agreement now expires in January 2018). Moreover, Macy’s has filed suit against Martha Stewart (Living) Omnimedia Inc. in state court in New York to enforce the agreement, signed by MSLO in 2006, in which the right for Macy’s to sell product exclusively in these categories was clearly outlined.” Macy’s said it would not comment further on the matter.

MSLO and J.C. Penney announced their deal in December. The agreement calls for J.C. Penney to team with MSLO to create distinct Martha Stewart retail stores within about 600 J.C. Penney stores nationwide. It also sets up a collaboration between the two companies to form an e-commerce website devoted to Martha Stewart home products.

In the statement this morning, Macy’s said it “plans to fully support its exclusive Martha Stewart-branded product going forward,” and that it would “continue to expand and improve our home offering based on localized customer preferences across the country.”

While saying that MSLO does not typically comment on legal matters, an MSLO statement said Macy’s had notified the company about its intention to renew and extend its agreement to feature and promote the Martha Stewart Collection. It also said the deal with J.C. Penney is moving forward, and that the agreement remains in effect. “We believe it’s good for our brand, for our partners and our consumers to have a range of Martha Stewart products available in a wide range of top retailers,” the MSLO statement said.