JCPenney and Martha Stewart's Marriage will be Cut Short
If you have visited a JC Penney department store lately, you might have noticed its new look and setup. Part of its revamp is the acquisition of a big name and her hot products. That's right, Martha Stewart is no longer a brand for just Macy's shoppers. She is a consumer option for the JC Penney fans, too.
The two big department stores have not come to terms regarding sharing Stewart without a fight. And the fight continues, though Macy's might see a recent business decision as a win for its stores. The business contract between JC Penney and Martha Stewart Living has been modified.
It looks like the union of the more affordable department store and Stewart's so-called "Everyday" products will be shorter than initially thought. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the original contract stated that the products would be available in the store through 2021. Perhaps due to the controversy over the merger, the business contract now only says Stewart products will be in the store through 2017.
The shortening of the union still hasn't moved Macy's to drop its lawsuit against JC Penney and Martha Stewart Living. After JC Penney and Stewarts products mixed, Macy's sued, arguing that Stewart products are products for Macy's, not any other business. Basically, Macy's feels that it is competing with its own products that are being sold in a different store.
We will post an update when there is a development in the lawsuit involving Macy's, Martha Stewart Living and JC Penney. This corporate controversy is an example of how complex business law can be and how important it is for parties to work with lawyers experienced in such matters.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "J.C. Penney Rolls Back Martha Stewart Deal, Returns Shares," Matt Townsend, Oct. 22, 2013