Tuesday, April 9, 2013

JCP Commercial Introducing Martha Home

Here is one of the first long form commercials from JCP that introduces shoppers to the Martha Home collection.  There's a nice sneak peek at the upcoming Martha Pantry line, which is due on shelves next month. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Oh Macy's, Grow Up!

As the legal battle between Macy’s, JCP and Martha Stewart Living continues today after a failed attempt at court ordered mediation, I’ve become increasingly less fond of Macy’s and their whining. 

As part of court record today, Macy’s introduced a “new” complaint that JCP and MSLO violated the terms of “exclusive” merchandise with the introduction of some serveware items as part of the Martha Stewart Celebrations line, introduced last week on JCP’s website and in select stores across the country.   Macy’s contends that the wine glasses and other serving pieces (which are made of plastic, and are designed to be disposable) were in direct competition with those GLASS and METAL items that are currently carried in Macy’s stores under the Martha Stewart Collection label. 

Really?  Plastic is in direct competition with glass?  Seriously? 

Macy’s  claim goes on to say the designs for the disposable, plastic glasses are exact replicas of the Martha Stewart Collection.  Umm.. last time I checked, there are “universal” designs in most cases for the shape of a champagne flute, a white wine class, and a red wine glass.  You’re grasping, Macy’s.. you’re grasping. 

As a consumer of Martha products at Macy’s  I think the department store bully needs to focus on what is happening IN their stores rather than with expensive, ridiculous law suits.  In the numerous Macy’s locations around my area (and I’ve shopped them all), the “Home” departments are looking more like a bargain basement or a garage sale than a home department.  It’s frustrating.  It’s no wonder sales of Martha Stewart Collection merchandise just barely meet minimum for royalty fees.  In order to sell something effectively, it has to be merchandised well.  You can’t just cram stuff on a shelf and expect it to sell.  It doesn’t work that way, especially with the consumer demographic Macy’s is attempting to maintain.

Having Martha merchandise at both retailers would force them both to up their game and provide the consumer the best shopping experience, and the highest quality products at a fair price.  I’d love to be able to walk into either Macy’s or JCP and get “wowed” with selections and experience.  Instead, Macy’s continues to move forward with their bully tactics and in turn for exclusivity, provide the consumer with a mediocre experience.  It’s like saying the consumer wants Martha products, regardless of shopping experience.  I don’t think so. 

In the long run, Macy’s is shooting themselves in the foot.   Up your game Macy’s..  and stop being afraid of the competition.   Most of all, stop being a bully and stop your never ending whining. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Welcome to Martha Home

A day earlier than expected, JCP took the wraps off the new Martha Home products on their website. 

Click here to go to the JCP website and see the newest offerings from Martha.  The Home products include Martha Décor (which includes lighting, mirrors and rugs), and Martha Celebrations.  Also included in Martha Home are paint and yarn items from the Martha Stewart Crafts line and a selection of best-selling books from Martha.  Martha Pantry, a line of baking mixes, pastas, coffee, and more will be available next month. 

New Video Series from Martha and The Home Depot!

Martha and The Home Depot have teamed up for a new video series, "Home How-to." 

Beginning April 25th, subscribers to the video series will have access to 3 videos per week on a variety of home projects from decorating to gardening, simple home repairs, and more.  Subscribers will also have access to ready-made shopping lists to make completing the project of their choice even easier.

Subscribers will receive via email, a $5 savings coupon to use on their next shopping trip to The Home Depot. 

To subscribe to the Home How-to Series, click here

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Martha Celebrations Coming Friday, April 5th!


Martha Stewart announced today on her Sirius/XM radio show, "Mostly Martha," the new Martha Celebrations line at JCP will be launching on Friday, April 5th both in store and online at jcp.com.   

In approximately 500 JCP stores nationwide, special Martha Celebration shops are currently being built to display the line.  The Martha Celebrations shop is just one of many new shops that will be opening as part of the JCP Home makeover. 

The Martha Celebrations line includes paper party supplies, gift bags, wrapping paper, candies, balloons, and candles.  There is also a full line of decorating items available to make any celebration special.  The Celebrations line will offer seasonal merchandise for all the usual holidays that are cause for celebration. 

Take a look at this "b-roll" of the new Celebrations line:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Remembering: Outdoor Living Special Issues

While winter seems to have a death grip on us, I'm ready to begin the warm weather seasons and enjoy the great outdoors once again. 

Since mid-February, I've been in planning mode - sketching out garden plantings for this year, making my shopping list for plants to fill the numerous urns and patio planters, and designing the patio arrangement to turn the space into a true outdoor living space.

For inspiration, I pour over numerous publications; but I always spend a few hours with two past special issues from Martha Stewart - "Outdoor Living." 

The first Outdoor Living special issue was published in 2007 and each page was filled with great ideas and help for the beginning gardener, to the most seasoned.  Paging through this issue is always a nice trip back to the gardens at Turkey Hill. 

The second issue was published in 2008 and was just as useful and beautiful. 

True to the Martha Stewart standard, the information contained in these two publications is truly 'ever-green' and timeless.  It's just as useful today as it was when they were first published. 

While only two issues of Outdoor Living were published, I remain hopeful that MSLO will revisit the idea once again - even if only in digital form. 

Outdoor Living special issues were definitely a good thing. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Second Serving of Cooking School

Second Season Of Martha Stewart's Cooking School And Season One Of Martha Bakes To Premiere On PBS Beginning April 6th

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. today announced that the second season of the James Beard Award-nominated Martha Stewart's Cooking School and the first season of Martha Bakes will premiere on PBS stations nationwide beginning April 6, 2013 (check local listings). The programs will be presented in association with WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcaster in the nation's capital. jcpenney and KitchenAid will serve as sponsors, along with charitable partner March of Dimes, for the second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School. KitchenAid has signed on as the exclusive sponsor for the first season of Martha Bakes.

The second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School comes on the heels of a successful first season which averaged approximately 1 million viewers each week and was seen in more than 92% of US households.  In each 30-minute episode of the second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School, which was both produced by MSLO and inspired by Emmy® Award-winning TV host Martha Stewart's bestselling book of the same title, Martha will demonstrate more classic cooking techniques and basics using her signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Episodes will include everything from soups, stews and seafood to roasting, sauteing and preserving.
"I'm very happy that Martha Stewart's Cooking School has been so well-received," said Ms. Stewart. "Cooking and teaching—my two biggest passions—are front and center on a show that viewers are finding accessible and useful. Home cooking is truly one of life's greatest pleasures, and it's wonderful to see that more and more, people are enjoying meals cooked in their own kitchens." 
Following the success of Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Martha Stewart will re-air Martha Bakes, a 13-episode teaching series that originally aired on The Hallmark Channel. Throughout the series,  exclusively sponsored by KitchenAid, Martha shares her best tips and techniques, giving viewers the confidence to create the finest desserts and delectable baked goods in their own kitchens. From the perfect cheesecake to flaky, melt-in-your mouth puff pastry, Martha's updated versions of the classics will set the standard.

"We couldn't ask for a more perfect fit. Our viewers have an affinity for cooking shows and they tune in to public television to learn," says Dalton Delan, executive vice president and chief programming officer of WETA. "These series are ideal for people who want to learn cooking and baking techniques — and who better to teach them than America's most trusted lifestyle expert?"
"We are so pleased that our stations will have the opportunity to bring their viewers more episodes of Martha Stewart's Cooking School and now Martha Bakes," said Donald Thoms, vice president of programming for PBS. "For decades, PBS has been a destination where viewers learn how to cook from some of the world's foremost experts, so we are happy that legacy will continue with new seasons of Martha Stewart sharing her culinary expertise."

In addition, MSLO has created and produced 13 original Martha Bakes videos and 13 original Martha Stewart's Cooking School videos exclusively for KitchenAid, which will launch on April 6th on marthastewart.com.  Each video, either hosted by an expert from MSLO's culinary team or narrated by Martha Stewart, focuses on delicious recipes, helpful tips and techniques to make baking and cooking easier and more fun for every home cook.

Full episodes of the second season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School and the first season of Martha Bakes will also be available for viewing on PBS.org.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Barefoot Contessa in Your Freezer

Photo courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa
Food Network star and cookbook author Ina Garten, best known as the "Barefoot Contessa," has teamed up with Contessa Premium Foods (how ironic is that?) to produce a new line of pre-packaged, ready to cook "dinners for two." 

Based on Ina's favorite recipes and using the best quality ingredients, the dinners can be prepared at home in a sauté pan in about 10 minutes.  "Sometimes even the Barefoot Contessa doesn't have time to cook," Ina says. "I've already grilled the chicken, grated the cheeses, simmered the sauce, and chopped the fresh herbs, so in minutes you can make a freshly prepared dinner for your family. How easy is that?"

Dinners include Barefoot Contessa Penne Pasta with 5 Cheeses, Sesame Chicken & Noodles, Beef Stew Bourguignon, Tequila Lime Chicken, Shrimp Scampi & Linguine, Creamy Chicken Stew, Pasta Carbonara with Pancetta, Garlic & Ginger Chicken, and Jambalaya. The dinners for two will retail for approximately $8.99.

Ina has been closely involved in every step of creating her Barefoot Contessa Sauté Dinners for Two, and she also includes serving suggestions to make each dinner taste "Even Better." The dinners are prepared by Contessa Premium Foods Inc in its LEED-Gold-Certified "green" plant.

"Nothing tastes better than a freshly cooked dinner with great ingredients," says Ina. "Your family will think you're brilliant."