A network and cable TV effort, along with magazine ads in Martha Stewart Omnimedia publications, breaks this month. It shows off six new Martha Stewart collections with products ranging from a $2 ornament to a $199 pre-lit Christmas tree.
While Kmart ads of holidays past showed Ms. Stewart amid festivities, this year her name has been relegated to a smaller spot in the ads that focus on other products being offered.
"Her brand is a great brand and customers still want it and buy it," said Paul Guyardo, Kmart's chief marketing officer.
According to a Nov. 2 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Martha Stewart Everyday sales at Kmart in the third quarter decreased 9.7% in stores open at least one year over 2003. Its revenue from Kmart dropped 5% in the quarter.
Some analysts say Kmart is placing a smart bet. "Martha Stewart, regardless of what happened, is an icon of good taste," said Kurt Barnard, president, Barnard's Retail Trend Report. "What she says goes, and nobody can take that away from her."