Corporate News: Judge Says Penney Can Sell Martha Stewart Line

J.C Penney Co. has had a very chaotic year. Their most notable challenge is with Macy’s and it is still ongoing. The case is so controversial it has reached the New York State Supreme Court over the brand name Martha Stewart. Macy’s currently has a contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia which also extends to some of her home products designed by the company. Therefore, they are trying to block a newer deal between J.C Penney Co. and Martha Stewart Living which allows Penney to sell bedding and other home products designed by Martha Stewart. J.C Penney Co. is one of Macy’s biggest competitors and in this past year, due to new management, has not been doing too well. They have suffered a sales decline of 25% for this year. Former Penney Chief Executive Ron Johnson’s strategy to reinvent the retailer has had a reversed effect. By cutting out clearance sales and coupons they have alienated their bargain shoppers.

The most recent ruling on this case allows J.C Penney to sell Martha Stewart-branded products, however they have to avoid using Martha Stewart in connection with any promotion to those goods. Macy’s believes they have a good chance on appealing and overturning this decision.

-Jonathan Chan

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