You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • Oil prices slide, despite Mideast chaos
    The price of oil fell for the ninth consecutive day Wednesday as global supplies continue to flow despite unrest in the world’s most important oil-producing region.The prolonged drop could lead to lower gasoline prices for U.S.
  • Summer box office suffers
    Hollywood’s summer at the box office isn’t just missing nearly 20 percent of last summer’s revenue. It’s lacking swagger.
  • Biomet’s earnings rebound
    Biomet Inc. on Wednesday reported preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for fiscal 2014, reflecting the Warsaw orthopedics company’s most profitable performance in years.Biomet reported annual earnings of $36.
Advertisement

2 retail giants spar over Martha Stewart

– Let the pots and pans fly.

Two of the nation’s biggest department stores – J.C. Penney and Macy’s – began to duke it out in the New York State Supreme Court over the right to sell Martha Stewart merchandise.

At the heart of the trial, which began Wednesday, is whether Macy’s has the exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart-branded products in such categories as cookware, bedding, and bath. Company founder Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson and Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren could be called to testify during the trial.

In December 2011, J.C. Penney announced a partnership in which it would open Martha Stewart mini-shops in most of its stores, beginning this spring. It also announced that it had acquired a 16.6 percent stake in Martha Stewart Living. The deal is part of Penney’s plan to revive the struggling department store under Johnson’s leadership.

Macy’s sued Martha Stewart Living, saying that it had exclusive rights on certain of its products until 2018. The pact goes back to 2007.

“Macy’s is the victim here,” Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewksi told The Associated Press. “(J.C. Penney) has wrongfully and illegally interfered with our relationship with (Martha Stewart). Our company has, in good faith, invested significant sums, taken risks and endured a period of disappointing results in order to rebuild the Martha Stewart brand and grow it in important product categories. We invested for the long-term. (Penney) is trying to harvest the field planted and cultivated by Macy’s.”

Macy’s, based in Cincinnati, has claimed in court documents substantial damages and said the maneuver by J.C. Penney “threatens to inflict incalculable further harm on Macy’s. Billions of dollars of sales are involved.”

Macy’s is also trying to stop Martha Stewart from providing designs to J.C. Penney even if it gets rid of the Martha Stewart moniker.

Last summer, Macy’s won a preliminary injunction against Martha Stewart Living that would prevent it from selling housewares and other exclusive products at J.C. Penney.

Supreme State Court Judge Jeffrey Oing did grant Penney permission to open Martha Stewart shops, as long as the items under the exclusive contract with Macy’s are not sold in them.

Advertisement