Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Macy's, JCPenney in Legal Battle to Sell Martha Stewart Merchandise


It is a legal battle that Los Angeles business dispute lawyers believe would get the Martha Stewart seal of approval.  Two of the country's biggest department stores Macy's and JCPenney are in court in a dispute over the rights to sell branded products by Martha Stewart.
The court is being asked to decide whether Macy's has the exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart merchandise including cookware, bedding and bath products.  The entire dispute was triggered in December 2011, when JCPenney announced a partnership with Martha Stewart.  As part of the agreement, JCPenney would open a chain of mini shops selling the domestic goddess’ products in most of its stores.  That launch is expected to take place this spring.  JCPenney also announced that it had purchased a 16.6% stake in Martha Stewart Living.
That announcement did not go unnoticed by Macy's, which immediately filed a lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living.  The lawsuit claimed that Macy's had exclusive rights to sell Martha Stewart Living’s branded products until 2018.  That deal was part of an agreement that the 2 signed back in 2007.  Macy's claims that its rights are being infringed by the newer deal between JCPenney and Martha Stewart Living.
According to Macy's, JCPenney has interfered in its relationship with Martha Stewart Living, and as a result, Macy's, which had taken tremendous risks on selling these products during recessionary economy, stands to lose.
Martha Stewart Living, in the meanwhile, insists that the decision to open mini shops in JCPenney stores selling Martha Stewart Living branded products, does not really violate the terms of the agreement with Macy's, because these mini-stores do not violate the exclusivity contract that it has with Macy's.

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