Macy’s says Martha Stewart Living committed business infidelity

On behalf of Daniel Watkins of Watkins Firm, A Professional Corporation
Posted On February 22, 2013
On behalf of Daniel Watkins of Watkins Firm, A Professional Corporation posted on Friday, February 22, 2013.

Department stores are a place where you can buy almost anything for your home and yourself. Walking through the front door, you can find clothes for a date night out and top the look off with new makeup, jewelry, shoes, a jacket to keep you warm and a purse to hold the wallet you purchased. For a night in, depending on the store, you can buy a couch to lounge on, accent décor to give your home a good feeling. You can buy all of the kitchen supplies to cook a good meal and even the appliances you might cook them on and the dinnerware to serve them — and we could go on.

Not only are department stores a place where you can purchase almost anything, but they are a feeding frenzy of contract relationships. Where do all those wonderful items come from? Different designers, manufacturers, distributors; just think of all of the brand names you see there. Each of these brand companies is in a contract relationship, and department stores are very protective of these relationships. In fact, Macy’s Inc. is heading to court this week to protect a sales relationship that they have with Martha Stewart Living products.

An announcement was recently made that let consumers know that Martha Stewart Living products could be found not only in Macy’s department stores, but J.C. Penney as well in the near future. Specifically, Macy’s said that their contractual relationship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. included the exclusive right to sell products from certain home categories such as cookware and bedding.

Another part of the dispute was that Macy’s said that the business discussions between J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living were conducted in secret, with the intent of keeping Macy’s unaware of the building relationship. Macy’s claims that this secret behavior constituted tortious interference and unfair competition.

Source: CRAIN’S, “Macy’s and Martha Stewart Living head to court,” Feb. 19, 2013

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