Executives from Macy’s testified today at New York State Court in Manhattan about how Martha Stewart allegedly broke an exclusive deal with the retailer, opting to sign with rival department store JCPenney.It became immediately apparent that this is a very personal fight.
Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren and Stewart were friends — or so he thought.
“I was completely shocked and blown away,” Lundgren said about the call he received from Stewart informing him that she signed a deal with JCPenney. “I was literally sick to my stomach.”
Stewart said that it’d be a good deal for Macy’s, but that’s when Lundgren couldn’t take it anymore.
“The thought that it would be good for Macy’s is so far from anything I could comprehend,” said Lundgren. “I’m upset right now talking about it.”
He hung up on her. It was the first time he’d hung up on anybody, assured Lundgren.
“I don’t have a personal relationship with Martha Stewart,” said Lundgren. “I haven’t responded to her since that phone call and I don’t intend to.”
And it’s not just the big boss who’s mad at Stewart.
Macy’s merchandising EVP of home Laurene Gandolfo got emotional when she testified, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
“I really put myself out there for these people,” she said. “Nobody told me to train their designers, nobody told me I had to take them to our factories. I trusted…the people I was working with [at Martha Stewart].
“I was trying to help and felt like they stabbed me in the back,” she continued.
Gandolfo sent an email to her colleagues that summed up her anger: “It is my personal goal to show these traitors that we will not miss a beat in their business.”
Last Thursday, the longtime president of Macy’s merchandising group Leonard Marcus testified. He set off some fireworks too.
“When I heard about it, I was shocked, I was angered, I was ticked off,” said Marcus. “The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘I cannot believe [it], this is exactly what I was afraid of when we did this contract, that we were going to do a deal and then somehow we’re not going to have the exclusive rights.’ I was flabbergasted.”
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