Macy's sues Martha Stewart Living for jumping into bed with JC Penny
Macy's has sued Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in a bid to block a licensing deal between the housewares company and JC Penney.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court.
Macy's claims Martha Stewart Living's deal with JC Penney violates the terms of an exclusive pact Macy's has to sell Martha Stewart Living products at its stores.
Retail queen: Martha Stewart Living is being sued by Macy's who believed they had exclusive rights to her extensive collection of homeware products
The move has aggravated Macy's, which has carried a line of Martha Stewart home and kitchen products since 2007, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Macy's doesn't wish to miss out on the exclusive rights to her top-selling product line, which features everything from bedroom furnishings to dining tables and chairs to wedding china.
The complaint comes after the Plano, Texas-based, JC Penney acquired a 16.6 per cent stake in Martha Stewart Living and announced plans last month to open mini-Martha Stewart shops inside most of its stores, beginning next year.
The move was seen as part of JC Penney's efforts to re-image itself under new CEO Ron Johnson, a former Apple executive.
Store wars: Macy's doesn't want to miss out on the lucrative partnership, which sells everything from bedroom furnishings to dining tables to wedding china
The company's president, Lisa Gersh, said in December that the Penney line would be 'completely different' from the products sold at Macy's.
Smart move: JC Penny plans to set up mini-Martha Stewart shops in stores
Martha Stewart Living said it does not comment on legal matters, but issued a statement saying that it received a notification from Macy's that it intends to renew and extend its commercial agreement with Martha Stewart Living to feature and promote the Martha Stewart Collection in Macy's stores.
The New York-based lifestyle, media and merchandising company also noted that its commercial agreement with JC Penney remains in effect.
Calls and an email seeking comment from Macy's and its attorney were not immediately returned late Monday.
Macy's shares added nine cents in aftermarket trading. The stock ended regular trading down 29 cents at $35.09.
Martha Stewart Living shares slid 15 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to $4.15 in aftermarket trading after slipping 13 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $4.30 during the regular session.