Macy's-Martha Stewart contract dispute reportedly ends well

Profitable business in Florida tends to depend on maintaining a relationship of trust between the parties. If one or the other party is perceived to have betrayed a trust, foundations can begin to crumble and the whole profitable relationship can be in jeopardy. To restore things to balance in the face of a breach of contract dispute, the guidance of experienced legal counsel can be critical.

That appears to have proven to be the case in a matter involving the department store giant, Macy's, and the business conglomerate known as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The two sides announced today that they have come to terms over a breach-of-contract issue and are looking forward to a future of continued partnership and success.

Still unresolved are legal claims related to the case that Macy's has made against J.C. Penney.

Readers may be somewhat familiar with the struggle. It has to do with allegedly conflicting deals that Martha Stewart signed with both Macy's and J.C. Penney. Stewart and Macy's have had an exclusive merchandising contract since 2006. But in 2011, Stewart and Penney inked an agreement to create mini Martha Stewart shops in Penney's stores. Macy's sued both Stewart's company and J.C. Penney, citing exclusivity violations.

Stewart's deal with Penney was seen as a move to try to boost revenues through the merchandising of her branded goods. The move came as ad revenues from Stewart's publishing businesses lagged. Since the dispute erupted, though, Stewart has curtailed arrangements with Penney.

Specifics of today's agreement have not been disclosed, and both sides say they won't be releasing the details publicly. They both claim that the settlement is not material to their businesses.

J.C. Penney isn't commenting.

Source: USA Today, "Macy's, Martha Stewart settle contract dispute," The Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2014