J.C. Penney to Martha Stewart: It's not a good thing
Complaining that her housewares aren't selling, the beleaguered retailer may be showing her the door.
Updated 9:38 p.m. ET
J.C. Penney's (JCP) experience with Martha Stewart hasn't exactly been a "good thing" for the troubled retailer.
Former Penney chief executive Ron Johnson, who was reviled by many inside and outside the retailer for his high-flying ways, got the company embroiled in a nasty courtroom fight with rival Macy's (M) over the rights to sell the domestic diva’s wares.
While Penney is still waiting for a final courtroom ruling on that licensing dispute, new CEO Mike Ullman has already made his own judgment: Martha Stewart has to go, reports the New York Post.
Ullman, who replaced Johnson after Penney's stock and retail sales plunged, has decided to break off the relationship with Stewart and isn't waiting for the court decision. Instead, the Post notes, Ullman made his decision after finding that the Stewart-designed housewares aren't grabbing customers.
J.C. Penney didn't immediately return requests for comment from MSN moneyNOW. But Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) said, "J.C. Penney remains one of our many retail partners. Our agreement with them is in force, and we have no intention of ending it. We are committed to working with them to design high-quality, beautiful and affordable products for consumers around the country."
Ullman is reportedly not impressed with Stewart's designs, which are provided to Penney as part of a pricey 10-year, $200 million agreement.
On Penney's recent second-quarter conference call, Ullman didn't mention Stewart's wares specifically, although he did call out the home-goods department's "underperformance."
But anecdotal evidence backs up the report's claim that Stewart's products aren't connecting with Penney shoppers. Many of the items, sold under the JCP Everyday label, have been marked down, while some Martha Stewart lamps were on clearance this summer, the New Yorker notes.
Stewart's brand of home decorating might simply be too expensive for the average Penney customer. Some rugs, such as her "Square Dance" floor covering in "fennel seed," carry price tags as hefty as $1,900.
That's an impossible price to ask of most Penney customers, given that almost one-third of the retailer's customers make less than $35,000 a year.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
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Don't know why they ever hooked up with Martha in the first place. She was in K-Mart and look what's happened to them. At K-Mart, Maceys, or Penneys, her stuff is over priced crap. Maybe they need to let a woman run the place. We know how to spot over-priced crap.
HMMMMM... Ten year contract for 200 mil..
NOW they figure out it doesnt match their customer base..
Who hires these people????
Any time I see a product that uses some fancy movie stars name, or some so called famous sports persons name, I do not buy it. Those products put many dollars in the so called famous persons bank account, and that does not make the product any better.
If the product producer would hire ugly, fat, dumplins to advertise their product, and pay them very little, then they could sell the product much cheaper.
And we wonder what is wrong with the economy.
I D O's, A Me Go.
- No Chinese crap
- No crap quality builder housing
- No politically correct schools
- No poison food
- No direct or indirect exploitation through retail
- No NSA (other than satellites)
WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL ! ---- Wait --- too late
The worst towels I ever bought had Martha Stewart's name on them.
I won't buy any more of her junk! In fact, if she disappeared in the next hour...I'm not sure there would be that many who would miss her...I wouldn't!
I'm So done with Marthas Crap..Her products
are Really Poorly made..I even avoid Maceys
because of Martha
J.C.K-Wal Mart Penny.......crappy products made in China for red blooded Americans.
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