Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) reported second quarter results in an earnings conference call yesterday. While overall earnings for the quarter were down as compared to last year, the company is excited about the future with new partnerships in development and new products due to hit the store shelves in early in 2010.
Robin Marino, MSLO's President of merchandising, spoke about the new partnerships and prospects for the future:
"We continue to execute on our diversification strategy, focusing on new areas where we have strong brand equity and expertise, like weddings, cleaning products, food, and pets. Our weddings franchise is a great example of this. We started 15 years ago with our Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, which developed a passionate following and established us as the creative leader in this space.
The Martha Stewart collection of home products exclusively at Macy’s is the number one brand on Macy’s bridal registry. We further extended our weddings franchise with investments in wedding wire and pingg.com.
In May, we launched a line of co-branded social stationary products with Crane & Company, beginning with a beautiful assortment of wedding invitation suites.
And early this week, we announced an agreement to create branded destination weddings and crafts classes and camps at Sandals & Beaches Resorts throughout the Caribbean. We see a great amount of opportunity in the wedding space as we integrate all of these wonderful assets, and I look forward to keeping you posted on future calls.
The development of the Martha Stewart clean product line with Hain Celestial is complete. It encompasses 10 SKUs of all-natural cleaning products derived primarily from plants and minerals, including laundry detergent, liquid dish and hand soap, tub and tile cleaner, and more. We expect to have product on store shelves in early 2010. I am very excited about this entry into a completely new product category, a category where consumers have asked to find us. We look forward to updating you on our progress.
As I said on our last call, food is another important opportunity. We have tremendous brand equity in the space and valuable learnings from our relationship with Costco. We see great prospects for Martha Stewart food line and you can expect to hear more from us about new manufacturing partners in the months ahead.
Our pets franchise continues to gain traction with the launch last quarter of our pets channel on marthastewart.com. As I always say, media leads and merchandising follows. We expect to have news on a new partnership in this category very soon. Stay tuned.
While the near-term environment is challenging, we feel very good about our merchandising strategy, our terrific partners, and our future prospects. New and expanded business opportunities, including plans for a new, large scale retail partnership, are well underway. We look forward to sharing more about them with you in the second half of the year as we position ourselves for 2010 and beyond. "
The question remains, who will be the next large scale retail partnership? We should know the answer to that question in the next few months as we say, 'goodbye' to Kmart.