Saturday, June 28, 2008

One of our readers, Jim, was shopping at Wal-Mart and wandered into the crafts aisle. He saw a section of craft products that bore a striking resemblance to the Martha Stewart Crafts line and thought how horrible it was that a company would so closely mimic another company's packaging design. So sneaky, he thought: 'I bet they'll be sued by MSLO.'

As he got closer he realized that the craft products were from the Martha Stewart Crafts brand!

He was shocked, since he didn't realize they would be distributed there.

He says, "The prices were better than at Michael's. The line wasn't as diverse as the one at Michael's, but a nice mix to the products Walmart was offering. They also had items I haven't seen at Michael's - tear drop shaped ink pads sets and a stamp starter kit (clear block, letters, phases, etc)."
Kenn has also noticed that scrapbook message boards are alive with discussion about the arrival of the Martha Stewart Crafts line at Walmart. (Read the comments to see the link to the discussion board.)

This is interesting, since it marks the first real tickle of MSLO's association with another mass-market retailer other than Kmart in the United States. Earlier this year, MSLO opened the floor to the Crafts line, allowing other craft retailers around the country to distribute the brand. (It had initially begun as a Michael's exclusive.)

Also earlier this year, former CEO Susan Lyne noted that the company was free to discuss new relationships with other mass-market retailers, since the Kmart contract expires in 2010. Could Wal-Mart become the new Kmart for Martha's wares? The Martha Stewart Everyday line is already sold through Seiyu in Japan, a company 40% owned by Wal-Mart, so it would make sense.

How would you feel about going to Wal-Mart to get your Martha goods?

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