Martha Stewart Loses in Macy’s Suit

Judge rules Martha's JC Penney deal hurts Macy's
Wikimedia/David Shankbone

Martha Stewart’s kitchen supplies might not be coming to a JC Penney quite as quickly as announced, as a New York judge has ruled in favor of Macy’s, which sought an injunction on the grounds that it had exclusive rights to the Martha-branded housewares.

Martha Stewart and JC Penney announced their partnership in December, saying that Penney’s would open in-store shops for Stewart’s branded housewares and cookware. But Macy’s filed suit, claiming that it has had the exclusive rights to distribute Martha Stewart cookware and housewares under an agreement that dates from 2006 and would not expire until 2018.

The judge yesterday issued a temporary injunction against the JC Penney deal, indicating that Macy’s showed "likelihood of ultimate success in its lawsuit," according to Reuters.

The NY Post reports that Macy’s is "pleased" with the results and would continue to sell Martha Stewart-branded products in its stores.

Crain’s reported earlier that potential outcomes of the Macy’s victory could involve Martha Stewart being barred from selling her branded products at JC Penney until the Macy’s contract expires in 2018, or JC Penney and Martha Stewart being required to make payouts to Macy’s.

The NY Post reports that its sources have indicated that Macy’s has decided to allow some Martha Stewart products to be sold at JC Penney next year.

In a statement to the Post, a Martha Stewart spokesperson said that the JC Penney deal would be going forward in spite of the Macy’s victory:

"We will be launching our products both in store and online with JC Penney in the first quarter of 2013. Nothing about today’s ruling changes that."