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Martha stewart Everyday was an immediate hit when it was introduced last year for retail marketing partner Kmart Corp. But it also was a phenomenal success for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

The upscale "name" brand was able to launch a discount line of towels, linens and other home fashions, without compromising its upscale status.

In part, the ability to maintain the brand's integrity is owed to the personality's strong involvement in the merchandising effort.

In fact, the initial Blue Label line did well enough to warrant the addition of the more expensive Silver Label line in September. That line offers higher-quality, higher-priced items, such as all-cotton, 200 thread-count sheets. The Blue line continues to outsell the Silver line, but overall sales are up significantly since the silver label items were added.

By yearend, the Martha Stewart Everyday line will comprise about 70% of all home fashions sold at Kmart, and next year Martha Stewart Everyday home and garden products will be added, significantly increasing the brand's presence in Kmart stores.

Kitchen textiles, window treatments and paint are other major product categories for the line, and all designs are constantly updated and changed to reflect new seasonal fashions and colors.

The paint line, from Sherwin-Williams Co., introduced at Kmart in May 1997, is now also available at Sears, Roebuck & Co. in the U.S. and Canada. Canadian retailer Zellers a division of Hudson's Bay Co. carries the Everyday line of bed, bath and kitchen products.

"No matter where they live, consumers are all looking for the same thing: beautiful home basics at affordable prices," says Martha Stewart, 56, CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Everyday is backed by several upscale books and the upscale-targeted Martha Stewart Living plus a popular syndicated TV show, has not suffered from its association with the discounter.

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