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Macy’s sues J.C. Penney over Martha Stewart Living contract

Judge already temporarily blocked sale of MSL products in J.C. Penney stores

A judge temporarily blocking J.C. Penney Co. Inc. from selling Martha Stewart products wasn’t enough for Macy’s Inc. The upscale New York-based department store is out for blood—taking its beef with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSLO) and J.C. Penney to the next level.

The whole ordeal started back in January, when Macy’s sued MSLO after the latter entered an agreement with J.C. Penney to open Martha Stewart Living shops within its stores. The suit claimed the media and merchandising company breached its contract with Macy’s when it entered into an agreement with J.C. Penney because Macy’s had an exclusive agreement with MSLO to sell Martha Stewart Living products.

Macy’s sought an injunction in February, and in July, a state judge temporarily blocked MSLO from selling some of its products at J.C. Penney stores—a victory for Macy’s. 

But Macy’s is taking it a step further, filed suit against J.C. Penney yesterday, seeking to stop the “less upscale” retailer from doing anything that violates Macy's agreement with Martha Stewart. It also seeks to stop J.C. Penney from using product designs that Macy's argued were illegally obtained from Martha Stewart.

"The fact that J.C. Penney is a less upscale retailer compared to Macy's compounds the injury," the lawsuit said.


Cathleen Flahardy

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