Stewart, Staples team up
The domestic diva takes on office space with a line for the Framingham chain
Martha Stewart has made her way into craft stores, pet shops, and cookware outlets. Now, the home fashion guru is showing up at the office.
The collection, known as the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery, will arrive in stores and on staples.com early next year, with more than 300 products, including binders, notebooks, desktop organizers, and labeling systems.
“This is a dream come true,’’ Stewart said yesterday. “We love labels and putting labels on things. We love organizing our desktops in different ways.’’
Staples will be able to take a larger share of the $21 billion home-organization market by carrying an exclusive celebrity designer at its 1,500 US stores, according to retail analysts.
Currently, no leading national brand offers a complete product line designed specifically for home offices.
The move marks the latest brand extension for Stewart, a convicted felon - she was charged with lying about a stock sale - who has rebuilt her home empire into an ever-expanding powerhouse. Since the company ended its partnership with Kmart in January 2010, Stewart has signed a flurry of deals to design home improvement products at
These partnerships have boosted the company’s merchandise sales from 15.7 percent of total revenue in 2009 to 23.5 percent in 2011.
That has helped offset weakness from the business’s media division, but shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia stock have been trading significantly lower, compared with their performance several years ago.
Yesterday, the share price dropped 23 cents, or nearly 7 percent, to $3.07 as markets overall fell sharply.
“The sagging stock price is obviously reflective of the general concern over the consumer and the economy,’’ said Michael A. Kupinski, at Noble Financial Capital Markets. “But merchandising deals like the one with Staples are an increasingly important part of the business.’’
The three-way partnership was a year in the making between Stewart, Staples, and Avery Dennison, which manufactures labels for laser and inkjet printers, binders, and other supplies. Executives from the three companies did not offer details on prices, products, or colors.
The Martha Stewart brand will appeal to Staples customers - nearly 60 percent of whom are women - said Demos Parneros, president of Staples US retail.
“We were looking for something like this for quite some time,’’ Parneros said. “We’ve talked to a lot of potential different partners. But it takes an amazing brand to cut through. Customers are pretty discriminating.’’
Being the exclusive carrier of the Stewart products helps differentiate Staples from rivals at a time when it is struggling because employers aren’t hiring - and thus don’t need as many office supplies. It also faces strong competition from online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores, said Michael Baker, a retail analyst at
Martha Stewart’s success at driving sales at other retailers, like PetSmart, makes it a good opportunity for Staples, he said.
“If it can work for pets, it can work for home office organization,’’ he said.