In an ongoing dispute, settlement discussions between Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. over a merchandising pact with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. are still being discussed in a lawsuit that is now expected to continue into the New Year.
The quarrel started back in 2012 when Macy’s sued Martha Stewart and Penney claiming both violated a prior contract which gave Macy’s full rights to sell Stewart’s items exclusively at their stores. Penney and Stewart announced a partnership in 2011 that allowed Penney to sell bedding, bath and housewares from the Martha Stewart brand as well in their stores.
Back in October, Penney shortened the length of their contract with Stewart (originally a 10-year contract) and reduced the range of products carried at their stores so as to avoid conflict with the items Macy’s obtained the rights to sell exclusively.
While the lawsuit between Martha Stewart and Macy’s has been settled, Stewart did not release information on the terms of the settlement other than stating that the deal would not be material to the company.
The suit between Macy’s and J.C. Penney is expected to continue and predicted to only find resolution through a judge’s ruling. Both retailers have had on-and-off discussions since closing arguments were heard about the case in July, but have not yet been able to agree on the amount of damages. Macy’s is seeking to recover attorney’s fees and lost profits.
While Macy’s and Penney continue to hash out financial claims, some are saying it’s possible that negotiations could restart altogether. If both parties fail to come up with a decision, the ruling will be left solely in the hands of Judge Jeffrey Oing, New York State Supreme Court.
News reference via USA Today + Reuters and image via money.cnn.com