Macy’s Fires Back at Martha Stewart in Court Fight Over J.C. Penney Sales

Macy’s Inc. (M) asked a court to reject counterclaims by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. in their legal dispute over a plan to open mini-boutiques in department stores operated by J.C. Penney Co. (JCP)

Macy’s sued in January to stop New York-based Martha Stewart Living from executing the agreement to sell merchandise in J.C. Penney stores. Macy’s, based in Cincinnati, said it has the exclusive right to sell Martha Stewart-branded products in certain categories.

Martha Stewart Living defended its agreement with J.C. Penney in counterclaims filed earlier this month, accusing Macy’s of breach of contract and saying that the retailer has stocked and priced Martha Stewart products in a manner that favors Macy’s own private-label brands.

Macy’s said in court papers filed yesterday in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan that the proportion of sales for exclusive and limited distribution brands, including those that the retailer licenses from third parties such as Martha Stewart Living (MSO) has increased since 2007, while the proportion of sales for its private labels has remained about the same.

Jeanne Meyer, a spokeswoman for Martha Stewart Living, declined immediate comment on the court papers filed by Macy’s.

The case is Macy’s Inc. v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., 650197/2012, New York state Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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