Martha Stewart denies fault in Penney deal
NEW YORK – Home diva Martha Stewart testified in court on Tuesday that she did nothing wrong when she signed an agreement to open up shops within most of J.C. Penney’s stores across the country.
Stewart testified in New York State Supreme Court as part of a legal battle over whether the company that she founded breached its contract to sell cookware, bedding and other items exclusively at Macy’s when she inked the deal with Penney in 2011. Stewart, who founded Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., during three hours of testimony, denied Macy’s allegations that she did anything unethical in brokering the deal with Penney. She said that she was only looking to expand and offer new opportunities for shoppers.
In fact, Stewart said it’s Macy’s that didn’t uphold its end of the agreement to try to maximize the potential of her business. She her brand, which is about a $300 million business at Macy’s, has grown “static” at the department store chain. She said she was hoping the business would exceed well over $400 million.
“We were disappointed,” Stewart, 71, wearing a sleeveless jacket and a mini skirt, testified. “We did have hopes that the business would be much bigger … We got to a certain dollar amount and struggled and never got any further.”
The trial, which began Feb. 20, focuses on whether Macy’s has the exclusive right to sell some Martha Stewart branded products such as cookware, bedding and bath items.