Martha Stewart: I should have bought Kmart

AP News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2015 6:09 AM
Martha Stewart: I should have bought Kmart

NEW YORK (AP) — If Martha Stewart had her way, Kmart could have been KMartha.

The home goods mogul said she regrets not buying Kmart before a deal with the discount chain went sour.

"We thought about buying it, but we didn't do it, and we should have," Stewart said in an interview with The Associated Press. "That could have been our store — KMartha!"

Stewart said another executive at Martha Stewart Living was "less bold" than she was and was against a buyout. "We'd have a fantastic chain of stores right now," she said.

A spokesman for Sears Holding Corp., the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company that owns Kmart, declined to comment.

For more than a decade, Kmart sold Martha Stewart-branded furniture, towels and other home decor. The partnership unraveled and the companies parted ways in 2009. Now, Martha Stewart products are sold at several stores, including home improvement retailer Home Depot, department store chain Macy's and craft retailer Michaels.

Not everything about Kmart was a good thing: Stewart wasn't a fan of its offices in Troy, Michigan. "It was one of the most horrible headquarters," Stewart said. "Just look at the pictures. It was an architectural nightmare."

Kmart moved out of the space in 2006 and the site is currently empty and owned by The Forbes Co., which owns a high-end shopping mall across the street. The Forbes Co., which isn't associated with the business magazine) declined to comment.

Stewart is currently focused on another deal. Brand management company Sequential Brands Group is in the process of buying Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. for $353 million, a fraction of the $2 billion the company was worth after Stewart took it public in 1999. Sequential, based in New York, also owns the Jessica Simpson clothing brand. It expects the deal to close by the end of the year.

Stewart said she is "very enthusiastic" about her company's new owners and expects Sequential's team to grow the brand.

"I will be on the board of Sequential and be creative director," she said, "so my job is only getting bigger."

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