After more than three years, Macy’s and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have finally settled their breach-of-contract case, in which the former company demanded that the latter stop selling certain branded housewares in J.C. Penney stores. They declined to provide any details on their agreement, saying it was confidential. However, they did state that they plan to continue as business partners.
The dispute began in 2011 when Martha Stewart Living and J.C. Penney announced a deal to sell certain home décor products out of Martha Stewart store-within-a-store at J.C. Penney locations. The deal was pushed by the latter company’s former chief executive, Ron Johnson, who lost his position in 2014 due to mounting losses for the retailing company.
Macy’s, who had been in partnership with Martha Stewart Living since 2006, sued both companies, alleging that the new deal violated the terms of their own contract with Martha Stewart Living. In the lawsuit, the retailer demanded certain items to be pulled off Penney’s shelves along with compensation for loss of potential profits. Penney and Martha Stewart Living disputed Macy’s claims, saying that their deal fit into an exception provided in the original Macy’s contract.
Days before the date of the judge’s decision, Penney and Martha Stewart Living decided to back down and revised their agreement to comply with Macy’s terms. This marked the end of a costly and contentious case for all involved parties.
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