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Martha Stewart goes Kmart with new line of household products

February 20, 1997

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) _ Martha Stewart bathmats? Shower curtains? Soap dishes?

Watch for works by the goddess of home living as the next blue-light special at Kmart. She loosens her upscale image to launch a new bed, bath and paint line to the mass market.

A sampling of her taste includes tea bath-colored paint, plaid-rose shower curtains, yellow gingham bedskirts and light blue toilet seat covers.

They’re all part of the broad line unveiled Wednesday at one of Ms. Stewart’s estates. Grand bedrooms, 13 in all, filled with antique furniture, stark walls and not a thing out of place helped show off the new products that will begin to fill Kmart stores March 1.

``I want colors and styles that are appropriate in everyone’s home,″ Ms. Stewart said.

It’s hardly an image associated with Kmart, known for its shelves of motor oil, toys and baby clothes.

Martha Stewart Everyday will now be the main brand in Kmart’s bed and bath department. In many stores it will be one of the first displays to greet consumers when they enter the store. Department managers, known as ``Martha managers,″ will be on hand to help mix and match the colors and designs.

``Martha is another step in the renaissance of the Kmart Corp.,″ said Floyd Hall, chairman and chief executive at Troy, Mich.-based Kmart and a luncheon guest. ``Martha’s line will put Kmart in a leadership position.″

The venture is the first major promotion for Ms. Stewart since she took control two weeks ago of her media empire, which includes Martha Stewart Living magazine, a syndicated TV show and some book publishing operations.

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