Sunday, May 25, 2008

Home Textiles Today is reporting that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is set to redevelop its e-commerce division on its website, marthastewart.com. Below is an excerpt from the article that was originally published on hometextilestoday.com with information about how the company is poised to bring back its online mail-order service...but with a twist!

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During the company’s presentation at the Goldman Sachs Internet Conference in Las Vegas on May 22, MSLO president and CEO Susan Lyne said the company is preparing to embark in 2009 on “very different e-commerce content that we had before.


“On our old site we did the manufacturing, we held the inventory, the products were great, and we lost an enormous amount of money,” she explained. “It’s not what we are good at.”

But by next year the plan is be able to sell “or at least make consumers believe they are buying on our site” when in fact MSLO will be working with what Lyne described as “a middleman partner.”

“What we are looking to do going forward is to essentially be the front end, the interface for consumers,” she said.

Currently, visitors to http://www.marthastewart.com/ come “mostly for content, interestingly,” she explained. They can view Martha Stewart-branded products but they can’t buy them. The site allows users to connect to http://www.macys/ or http://www.kmart.com/ to shop for the home guru’s wares.

Other soon-to-come new developments from MSLO include a stronger presentation of luxury or better priced items at Macy’s – an unexpected shift that has come in response to consumers’ unforeseen demands for the brand’s higher bracket assortments at the department store.


The original Martha by Mail logo was designed by New York husband-and-wife design team DK Design Partners.

“Overall, we are very much on plan with Macy’s despite this downturn in the economy, and we’ve had some surprises, one of them being [the success of] our luxury or best product, which initially Macy’s didn’t think we would be able to play in,” Lyne said. “But it turns out we fill out in our best , and that’s because people understand the value proposition -- what you can get for $199 from us looks like it would be $400 at Bergdorf’s.”

For this reason, the company is branching out “that part of our business pretty dramatically, and it’s more surprising even because we were known as a mass manufacturing line. To be able to play at that very high level is nice.”

MSLO is also growing other aspects of its 2,000-sku, $3-to-$600 Macy’s home program, which launched in September. It is looking to soon add new categories, such as storage, gifts and more home d├ęcor pieces.
By staying focused “within our core” home area, and not in unrelated businesses “like fragrances,” and others, she sampled, “there are areas where we can build this [Macy’s program] pretty dramatically,” Lyne said.

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