• Judi Fulbright

Martha Dazzles TV Audience with Macy's Spree

Loading her Martha Stewart Show season premiere studio audience onto a bus and heading crosstown to Herald Square on Monday Sept. 10, Martha Stewart treated her national viewers to a guided tour of her Collection at Macy's, marking the official rollout of the new merchandising program at the chain.

Greeted warmly at the store by Macy's chairman, president and ceo Terry Lundgren and Macy's Home Store chairman and ceo Tim Adams, Stewart also chatted with entertainer Usher, who as the day's special guest on the show, enthused about the Collection products.

Crowds swarmed and followed as the well-lit Stewart entourage toured and shopped her massive array of entertaining and kitchen wares in the central power aisle of Macy's Cellar, and her debut bed and bath lines on the store's sixth floor, where a total of 11 fully outfitted beds are on display, along with a bath area and a smartly designed Martha Stewart Collection monogramming service counter ($10 per towel or bed item, up to seven letters).

The textile part of the Collection, still dominated by pastel looks, has been shopped by the public in this store since a soft opening in late July, and is due for a seasonal refreshing within 30 days. One focal point sure to remain: the white Trousseau ensemble, with its triple lace sheet sets at $260 for the queen ($149.99, sale) and comforter cover at $340 ($199.99, sale). Embroidery graces the 100% Egyptian cotton, 360-tc pieces.

The whirlwind, weekday store appearance underscored the marketing-multiplier power that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia can bring to bear on a partnership merchandising program — with events, promotions and product placement working across print, broadcast and online platforms.

While the company she founded has a share price trading at a three-year low, Martha Stewart's image seems to be as strong as ever. Overheard from two onlooking Macy's customers: "Doesn't she look great?" "Absolutely fabulous."

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