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J.C. Penney stores dumping Martha Stewart line due to poor sales

5:14 AM, Sep 6, 2013   |    comments
Martha Stewart. Photo by Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images.
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LOS ANGELES -- J.C. Penney shares jumped 5.3% Thursday after reports that the troubled retail chain no longer wants to be in business with Martha Stewart.

The chain is dumping the Stewart brand, due to poor sales, as it attempts to revive its fortunes, according to the report. Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia plunged 6.1%.

No comment yet from the retailer or Stewart, but the New York Post, citing unnamed sources, said Penney has decided to move on.

Both Penney and rival Macy's have been locked in a long legal battle with Stewart's Living Omnimedia company over a pre-existing partnership with Macy's. A judge is expected to rule on the case within days.Macy's shares rose 1.8% Thursday in a mostly higher market.

Penney's former CEO Ron Johnson, who was ousted in April, signed a merchandising deal with Martha Stewart in late 2011 and touted it as a key part of his plan to reinvent the chain. Johnson was replaced by Myron "Mike" Ullman, who decided to ditch Stewart's home-goods line after poor sales, says the Post.

J.C. Penney rose 72 cents to $14.22. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia fell 15 cents to $2.31.

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By Jefferson Graham, USA Today

Gannett / USA Today

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