It looks like the Martha Stewart v. Macy’s legal battle is going to be hard-fought each step of the way.
This story first appeared in the August 13, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Friday, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia appealed a preliminary injunction from a New York state judge that bars the brand from selling branded bedding, bath, kitchen textiles, dinnerware and cookware in J.C. Penney Co. Inc. stores.
Macy’s Inc. sued Martha Stewart in January, arguing that the Penney’s hookup violated its 2006 agreement with the brand. The dispute could go to trial as early as November.
In a statement to the New York Supreme Court, Martha Stewart’s attorneys said the Penney’s deal was crafted to avoid conflicts with the Macy’s contract, which allows the brand to sell key product categories through its own stores and direct to the consumer.
“While the JCP agreement does provide for the sale of Martha Stewart-branded items within the [Macy’s contract’s] exclusive product categories, it contemplates that those items will only be sold in distinct Marta Stewart stores,” argued Martha Stewart’s lawyers, in court papers.
Penney’s chief executive officer Ron Johnson is reshaping the chain, setting up shops-in-shop devoted to brands. Outposts for Levi’s, Arizona Jean Co. and I Jeans by Buffalo have already bowed.
Martha Stewart also has a countersuit pending against Macy’s and is going ahead with plans to start selling goods in Penney’s next year that wouldn’t violate the injunction.