Report: JCP to End Martha Stewart Deal

J.C. PenneyNEW YORK-J.C. Penney will take its Martha Stewart merchandise off its shelves, according to a report from the New York Post, in an apparent end to the highly controversial deal between the retailer and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO).

The report, which has been picked up by numerous news outlets, said Myron Ullman, J.C. Penney’s CEO, has decided to scrap the collection, which is the subject of two lawsuits by Macy’s, one against J.C. Penney and the other against MSLO.

As of this morning, neither J.C. Penney nor MSLO had responded to requests for comment from HFN.

The agreement between J.C. Penney and MSLO, which was announced in December 2011, called for the retailer to carry certain home products under its Martha Stewart label in home shops to be located in about 600 stores nationwide. It also included the creation of a Martha Stewart website offering the products. In addition, J.C. Penney purchased a stake in MSLO worth about $38.5 million.

This agreement was part of the strategy of Ron Johnson, Ullman’s predecessor, to remake J.C. Penney into a shop-centered, specialty department store. Johnson left his post this past April, after the retailer posted an annual loss of almost $1 billion for the fiscal year ending on Feb. 2.

Macy’s sued MSLO over this deal in January 2012, and followed up with a separate lawsuit against J.C. Penney in August of that year.