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JC Penney Dumps Martha


Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 7.00.00 AMIt appears retailer JCPenney has come to its senses, found its bottom and is looking to move on from the Ron Johnson era.

JCP will terminate its controversial partnership with Martha Stewart.

The retailer struck a deal in December 2011 to carry home goods from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, but Macy’s cried foul, claiming that it already had an exclusive agreement with Stewart (which it did!). The three parties have spent more than a year locked in a three-way legal battle that has threatened to pull the home goods off the shelves at JCP stores.

But now it seems that JCP has made a pre-emptive strike, opting to give up the legal fight with Macy’s and stop carrying the items. Apparently JCP CEO Mike Ullman simply wasn’t that enthused with Stewart’s line of home goods, and that sales were disappointing.

Finally someone at JCP is making decisions based upon reality.

If so, it’s yet another way that Ullman is rolling back the radical changes implemented by predecessor  Johnson. Ullman already nixed elements of Johnson’s apparel strategy by axing style icon Nick Wooster upon arrival, and last month he consolidated power by winning an ugly public fight with activist investor Bill Ackman. On his earnings call last month he called Johnson’s overhaul of the home department “disappointing,” and now it seems he’s taking action to clean up that mess, too.

If you need any home goods from Martha Stewart…now might be a good time to stop by the JCP store near you.

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