Troubled J.C. Penney just got more trouble on its hands. Early next year it was supposed to sell in its stores within the store lines of Martha Stewart merchandise. Essentially that's not going to happen.
New York Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing delivered an oral ruling, reports the NEW YORK POST, that the contract Stewart has with Macy's for her branded lines forbids her company to also provide merchandise to J.C. Penney. We had all been wondering when Macy's filed suit about Penney's carrying her brands where the retailer's lawyers had been. Didn't they review the contract Stewart had already signed with Macy's?
In a separate agreement Stewart will be able to sell some merchandise at Penney but not what the retailer had been planning. In addition to this problem Penney has slumping sales because of its "fair and square" strategy to boost margins by weaning shoppers from expecting deep discounting. The plan hasn't worked. Modifications have been made but, to leverage the royal cliche, those might turn out to be like retrofitting systems on the Titanic after it had already hit the iceberg.