Macy's Inc. (M) said it may call on Martha Stewart and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) Chief Executive Ron Johnson as witnesses in an upcoming trial pitting the company against its department-store rival and merchandising partner.
A witness list filed Wednesday included Ms. Stewart, the founder and nonexecutive chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSO), and Mr. Johnson as well as Macy's own Chief Executive Terry Lundgren, alongside a slew of other executives at the companies. Macy's may call on those listed to be witnesses but isn't necessarily obligated to do so.
The trial, scheduled to start next week, is set to determine how much--if any--Martha Stewart merchandise J.C. Penney may sell at "stores-within-stores" at its locations. The format is a cornerstone to Mr. Johnson's turnaround plan for J.C. Penney, with Martha Stewart one of the most high-profile of the shops it is creating.
But Macy's sued the companies, claiming the partnership violates its exclusive rights to housewares, bedding, home decor and cookware items under the do-it-yourself maven's banner in department stores.
J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living argue their collaboration is fine, since Macy's agreement allows Martha Stewart Living to sell its own products in its own stores, which it claims the "stores-within-stores" are.
This summer, Macy's won a preliminary injunction crimping Martha Stewart Living from working on certain categories for J.C. Penney's "stores-within-stores" and online shop, but the two have continued to collaborate on others.