Martha Stewart has been in the news again. This latest round of publicity is due to the fight between Macy’s and J. C. Penney over products that bear her name. Ms. Stewart signed an exclusive deal with Macy’s to sell branded housewares in 2007. A few years later, she signed a deal with J. C. Penney to open a series of Martha Stewart stores-within-a-store. This angered Macy’s, so the two retail giants have been fighting over the right to sell Ms. Stewart’s goods.
Ms. Stewart has achieved phenomenal success in the domestic arts industry. She is known as a shrewd businesswoman and a tough boss. She is proud of her successes and doesn’t hide behind humility. But in a recent news story, she was quoted as saying, “I’m surprised we are here.” She continued, “It’s a lot of uproar over a contract.”
Why should Ms. Stewart be surprised about the uproar over her contracts with these two retail operations? Given her business finesse, it’s actually surprising that she’s surprised by the companies’ reactions.
Most people and most businesses take their contracts seriously. Even if a contract breach doesn’t garner front-page news attention, it’s significant to the contracting parties. It can cause a tremendous rift between former business partners. It can also result in thousands of dollars lost in operating costs and legal fees.
To discuss a business contract breach with a Dallas commercial litigation lawyer, contact Mazin A. Sbaiti at 214-432-2899.