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Penney, Martha Stewart Living scale back partnership in new agreement

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and J.C. Penney Co. on Monday announced a revised commercial agreement covering their licensing and design partnership. The new agreement scales back Penney’s partnership with Martha Stewart Living.

It was not clear how, if at all, the revised agreement could affect the companies’ ongoing lawsuit with Macy’s.

Under the new agreement, Penney will sell a smaller selection of Martha Stewart Living products, like window treatments, rugs and party supplies, categories that are not in contest by Macy’s. Also, Martha Stewart Living will receive fees, royalties and the 11 million shares of its stock that Penney now holds, and Penney also will no longer have representation on the Martha Stewart Living board.

Penney CEO Myron stated: “We are happy to be moving forward and continuing to provide our customers with quality products from the MarthaHome collection, which includes MarthaWindow, one of our best-selling lines of window treatments.”

Macy’s said the new agreement between Penney and Martha Stewart is “a tacit admission by both Penney and Martha Stewart Living that Macy’s is the only store that can sell Martha Stewart bed, bath, and kitchen goods,” the Dallas Morning News reported.

“The contract that Penney and Martha Stewart Living entered into to sell Martha Stewart bed, bath, and kitchen goods at Penney was illegal,” Macy’s said in a statement. “It is a great shame that Macy’s had to expend time, money, and the diversion of its resources in order to protect its rights. Macy’s claims for the substantial damages it suffered as a result of Penney’s interference with Macy’s contract and Martha Stewart Living’s breach remains before the court.

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Saks’ new iPad app allows users to fit clothing to body type before purchase

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue, in partnership with Stylewhile, has launched a new iPad App that allows users to fit clothing to their specific body type before purchase. Not only can users virtually ‘try on’ clothes, but they can also use the App to select various items from retailers to create and style complete looks with the touch of a button.

"We’re delighted to partner with Saks Fifth Avenue on the launch of Stylewhile, and to offer them full exclusivity at launch,” said Stylewhile founder/CEO Jutta Haaramo. Both Stylewhile and Saks Fifth Avenue customers are women who love fashion and trying out new things. This new app will make their online shopping easier and more fun."

The service will allow shoppers to enjoy the benefit of being able to mix and match multiple items and multiple brands to create their ideal outfit, perfectly suited to their body type.

A wide range of international brands will be available at launch, including Diane von Furstenberg, J Brand and Vince. Saks Fifth Avenue will have full exclusivity for one month at launch, and will then have six months of exclusivity as the only luxury multi-brand retailer, though additional e-retailers will be included during this period. Shoes and accessories will be added to the app in early-November.

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Kohl’s to open 8 p.m. Thanksgiving; digital efforts include Santa photo op

BY Marianne Wilson

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Following the lead of rivals Macy’s and J.C. Penney, Kohl’s Department Stores announced it will open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, kicking off its Black Friday event earlier than ever.

Stores will be open for 28 hours straight – from 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 28 through midnight Friday nationwide.

The retailer is also offering a digital variation on the photos with Santa tradition. Starting in November, shoppers can skip the long lines to visit Santa at the mall by taking a photo at Kohl’s Snapshots with Santa in-store photo opportunity in Kohl’s stores nationwide. Customers can snap their picture against a green screen display, select a unique holiday background with Santa and share via email and social media using the Kohl’s Snapshots with Santa app.

Also new this year, and in time for the holidays, Kohl’s iPhone app will feature a new savings wallet, giving shoppers the ability to track Kohl’s Cash right on their phone.

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