NEW YORK, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) announced today that it has entered into a multi-year relationship with Age Group Ltd. to manufacture, market and sell pet-care products, which will be sold through PetSmart, Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM), the largest specialty retailer of services and solutions for pets. The line will include a wide range of pet accessories, including apparel, collars, leashes, bedding, grooming supplies, toys and more. The first products are expected to roll out in the second quarter of 2010.
Martha Stewart is widely known for her devotion to animals. Pet-related content is featured in Martha Stewart Living and on the nationally syndicated daily TV series The Martha Stewart Show; Martha Stewart Living Radio on SIRIUS XM offers pet programming daily. The company recently introduced a pets channel on marthastewart.com, including "The Daily Wag," a popular blog written from the perspective of Martha's beloved French Bulldogs, Francesca and Sharkey. Martha herself is actively involved in promoting animal welfare; earlier this year she was recognized for her efforts with the ASPCA Presidential Service Award.
Martha Stewart, Founder of MSLO, said, "I have always loved having a lot of pets - dogs, cats and birds, and consider them members of my family. It is very important to me that domestic animals be well fed, well groomed and well cared for, and I have always prided myself on the good health and happiness of my pets. I look forward to working with Age Group and PetSmart to provide other pet owners with the types of Martha Stewart-designed products that will keep pets happy, safe and healthy."
"We're bringing two world class brands together under one roof," said Matt McAdam, PetSmart's Vice President of Merchandising. "By being the only pet specialty retailer to offer Martha Stewart's pet products, we're giving our pet parents yet one more reason to shop our stores to find the unique solutions they want and need to keep their pets healthy and happy."
MSLO Executive Chairman and Principal Executive Officer Charles Koppelman stated, "We see tremendous potential for MSLO in the estimated $50 billion pets market and are very pleased to begin establishing a retail presence in this category through PetSmart. This new relationship is an important addition to MSLO's growing portfolio of Merchandising partnerships, which includes our recently announced agreement with The Home Depot to develop an exclusive Martha Stewart Living brand of home improvement products; our Martha Stewart Collection of home products exclusively at Macy's; as well as our Martha Stewart Crafts line available at Michaels and specialty crafts stores, among others. Through these programs we continue to deliver on our promise to provide consumers the Martha Stewart products they want and need wherever they shop."
Age Group Ltd., which will manufacture the new product line, has been in business for over 25 years. With over 15 licensed properties, the company's labels include Hello Kitty, Disney, Roca Wear, American Tourister and more. In addition, Age Group merchandises and designs for many retailers under private label agreements, including Macy's, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Kohl's.
"We're very excited to be working with Martha Stewart and her team of designers and pet experts, pairing our product development, marketing and retail distribution knowledge and capabilities with such a trusted and influential brand," said Sarah Gerard, President of Age Group's Pet Division.
Robin Marino, MSLO's President and Chief Executive Officer of Merchandising, said: "These important new relationships extend our brand's presence in the pet marketplace. We look forward to offering consumers inspired, well designed products they will love giving their pets."
According to the 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey, an estimated 71 million U.S. households include at least one pet. In 2008, consumers spent an estimated $52 billion on their pets, a number that has more than doubled in less than a decade*. Approximately one-third of those expenditures are dedicated to pet supplies, grooming and boarding.
About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) is a diversified media and merchandising company, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle content and distinctive products. The Publishing segment encompasses four magazines, including the company's flagship publication, Martha Stewart Living, periodic special issues and books. The marthastewart.com website provides consumers with instant access to MSLO's multimedia library, search and find capabilities, recipes, online workshops, community and personalization, as well as wedding-planning tools powered by WeddingWire. The Broadcasting segment produces such programming as the Emmy-winning daily, nationally syndicated television series, "The Martha Stewart Show," and Martha Stewart Living Radio on SIRIUS channel 112 and XM Radio 157. In addition to its media properties, MSLO offers high-quality Martha Stewart products through licensing agreements with carefully selected companies, including the Martha Stewart Collection exclusively at Macy's, Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart, Martha Stewart Crafts with EK Success at Wal-Mart, Michaels and independent retailers, Martha Stewart for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM and a co-branded food line with Costco. In 2008, Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands; MSLO acquired the assets related to Lagasse's media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, and emerils.com website and his licensed kitchen and food products. For additional information about MSLO, visit www.marthastewart.com.
About Age Group
Age Group Ltd. is an innovative wholesale manufacturer that has been in business for more than 25 years. Product categories include a full range of pet accessories, human apparel for men, women and children, juniors accessories and travel items including luggage and cases. Age Group is proud to be a leader in the industry and is noted particularly for being a "Top Resource" for up to the minute fashion with excellent quality and value.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company operates more than 1,145 pet stores in the United States and Canada, 156 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® cat and dog boarding facilities, and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information (www.petsmart.com). PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers complete pet training, pet grooming, pet boarding, Doggie Day Camp(sm) pet day care services and pet adoption services. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501( c )(3) non-profit animal welfare organization, has funded more than $87 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and, through its in-store pet adoption programs, has helped save the lives of more than 3.6 million pets.
*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys, 2008 estimate by Dillon Media LLC
SOURCE Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia