Heavy Marketing In Store For Martha Stewart Kmart Line

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The $1 billion Martha Stewart Everyday line for Kmart Corp.,which went online last week as a microsite at BlueLight.com, will be pushed to consumers through a variety of online and offline streams.


Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will promote the microsite at marthastewart.com, through online newsletters and e-mail order confirmations, and through mentions in direct mail pieces and the Martha Stewart Living magazine. BlueLight, San Francisco, will extend advertising and promotional support to the online offering, including BlueLight's Yahoo co-branded Web pages and links between BlueLight.com and marthastewart.com.


Bluelight.com is a joint venture of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Kmart and Softbank Venture Capital


Kmart will pitch in with mentions on packages, in-store signage and advertising circulars that reportedly reach 72 million U.S. households each week.


The 3-year-old brand previously had been available only in Kmart's 2,100 stores.


"We basically are opening another means of distribution, and we intend to support, promote and grow it together with BlueLight," said Sharon Patrick, president and chief operating officer at Martha Stewart in New York.


Initially, 1,379 items -- one-third of the Martha Stewart Everyday line -- will sell at the co-branded location on www.bluelight.com. The items also can be accessed from www.marthastewart.com. A complete offering, including housewares, is slated for the fourth quarter.


"We think that in making this product available broadly, it meets three needs," Patrick said. "It serves those who don't live near Kmart, it serves those who heretofore haven't shopped in Kmart, and it serves those who have shopped in Kmart but probably [have not] been able to get a particular item because not all stores stock the entire assortment."


BlueLight's free Internet access service has collected 3 million subscribers in only seven months of operation. Besides the Martha Stewart Everyday product line, BlueLight offers shopping in categories such as music, appliances, sporting goods, toys, videos and jewelry. Pet supplies, apparel and office products soon will be introduced.


Martha Stewart's Patrick said the Everyday online launch is another step toward using BlueLight's technology to integrate on the Internet all Martha Stewart vehicles, such as Martha By Mail and Marthasflowers. But integration, as with the Everyday line's rollout, will be gradual in order to detect any chinks in the system.


Visitors to the Martha Stewart Everyday online store will find fashion bedding, basic bedding and bath items in the home category. Gardening enthusiasts can find watering and outdoor living items, gloves, tools, accessories, planters and pots.


In the months ahead, the assortment will include bath and kitchen accessories, housewares and the Baby Baby line.


"After preview mode, as we build the full assortment, the shared microsite will have a greater presence on marthastewart.com, and over time we'll be working to integrate the entire shopping and basket experience," said Michael Gutkowski, vice president of Internet business development at Martha Stewart.
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