Pen­ney CEO emails sug­gest aim at break­ing deal

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

NEW YORK: J.C. Pen­ney’s CEO was in the hot seat again on Fri­day in New York State Supreme Court af­ter fac­ing in­vestors ear­lier this week over a dis­mal quar­terly earn­ings per­for­mance that marked one year of snow­balling losses and sharp sales de­clines since he came on board. This time, Ron John­son was be­ing grilled for four hours by lawyers from ri­val Macy’s Inc. who pre­sented emails that he wrote that they be­lieve il­lus­trate how he plot­ted to push home diva Martha Ste­wart to breach an ex­clu­sive deal with his ri­val. They con­tend he wanted Macy’s backed into a cor­ner so Pen­ney would be the sole de­part­ment store dis­trib­u­tor of some of Ste­wart’s goods. But in cross ex­am­i­na­tion by Pen­ney’s at­tor­neys, John­son, re­jected their claims and painted a far less de­vi­ous por­trait of him­self. He said he just wanted to get a piece of the ac­tion while help­ing the strug­gling Martha Ste­wart busi­ness grow. And he says that the ex­panded part­ner­ship could be good for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing Macy’s.

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