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Martha Stewart, Kmart Extend Deal

NEW YORK - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and Kmart Holding Corp. today said they amended and extended their deal to sell Martha Stewart Everyday products in Kmart stores.

The two-year extension through 2009 adds new Martha Stewart Everyday exclusive merchandise such as ready-to-assemble furniture to the collection that already includes home decorating items, housewares and baby goods.

It also eliminates certain minimum payment guarantees that had been at the center of a lawsuit that Kmart filed against Martha Stewart Living in February. Kmart said today it has agreed to drop that lawsuit.

The deal comes less than two months after company founder Martha Stewart was found guilty of lying to investigators over a suspicious stock sale, casting doubts over the future of her business. Kmart had said throughout Stewart's legal troubles that the exclusive Martha Stewart Everyday merchandise was selling well in its stores.

Stewart resigned as a board member and officer of Martha Stewart Living on March 15, but remains at the company as founding editorial director.

Kmart, which became the largest retailer to file for bankruptcy in January 2002, emerged from Chapter 11 protection in May 2003 after closing 600 of its 2,100 stores. The retailer began selling Martha Stewart Everyday merchandise in its stores in 1997, and the two companies signed a seven-year agreement in June 2001, just seven months before Kmart filed for bankruptcy.
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