Martha finds a buyer

Sequential Brands recently announced its acquisition of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and RetailWire panelists weighed in on the future value of the brand. Here’s my point of view:

To be literal-minded, the value of MSLO is whatever somebody was willing to pay for it — in this case, $353 million by Sequential Brands. It probably becomes the most high-profile brand in Sequential’s portfolio, which consists mostly of second-tier designer and celebrity brands along with labels like Avia that are managed mostly as “exclusive brands” today.

Certainly the last several years have tarnished the Martha Stewart brand, in particular the tug-of-war between Macy’s and JCPenney with Martha herself appearing to play one side against the other. But the bigger challenge facing Sequential will be MSLO’s relevance to Millennials, as George suggests. A brand built on “old media” (magazines and TV in particular) will need to find more effective ways to refresh its audience and itself.

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