J.C. Penney Decides Martha Stewart Deal Isn’t Worth a Lawsuit
Rather than wait for Justice Jeffrey Oing to rule on whether J.C. Penney’s (NYSE:JCP) 10-year, $200 million deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE:MSO) violated Macy’s (NYSE:M) pre-existing, exclusive licensing deal with Martha Stewart, CEO Mike Ullman “made the decision for the judge,” a source briefed on the situation told the New York Post. “They definitely are not going to carry [Martha Stewart home goods] any longer and [they are] not waiting for the court ruling.”
Through that source, the Post learned that Ullman said Stewart’s “designs aren’t that great” and that “they’re nothing that your normal Joe Schmoe can’t come up with.”
Former J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson initially inked the deal with Stewart’s company in December 2011. The plan was for the Martha Stewart-branded home goods products to be first in a new wave of products that would mold the retailer’s identity into the “cheap chic” esthetic, a concept similar to the one Johnson employed in his makeover of Target (NYSE:TGT).