"All the things I love is what my business is all about," Martha Stewart was once quoted as saying, and it couldn’t be truer. Possibly the most illustrious personality in the home/lifestyle category, the domestic diva channeled her passion for cooking, gardening and creating “good things” into a multimillion dollar enterprise. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), a multimedia and merchandising company in New York, includes a bevy of retail offerings like the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's and Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart. Reported fiscal 2008 year-end sales weighed in at $284 million.
So, why forge into the household cleaner category, where sales fell 2.7% to $1.5 billion for the year ended Nov. 1, 2009, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI)?
The answer is Home Depot.
In September 2009, the national retailer announced a partnership with MSLO that weaves the Martha Stewart Living brand throughout many of its existing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) categories—including outdoor living, home organization, paint, and now, the Martha Stewart Clean range of natural household products.
The Martha Stewart Clean collection includes 10 “environmentally-friendly” cleaning products for laundry, kitchen and bath. It features everything from a multi-use Martha Stewart Clean Dish Hand Soap ($3.99) to a double concentrated (2x) laundry detergent ($17.99) enough for 85 loads in both regular and High Efficiency (HE) machines.
To develop the line, Stewart partnered with Hain Celestial, a Melville, NY-based natural and organic personal care product company and leader in its category (sales of $117 million in 2008, as reported in Happi’s Top 50).
It's a good thing: Martha Stewart is expanding her empire by entering the household cleaning sector.
When asked what ingredients are crucial to the collection and why, Stewart replied,“It’s more about what ingredients aren’t used. Every product is made from more than 99% plant- and mineral-based ingredients and without artificial colors or added preservatives. We eliminated sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a compound found in many cleaning products that is known to irritate the skin.”
As for the packaging, it’s green all around—and not in hue. The clear-colored bottles are recyclable; the shipping cartons are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging responsible management of global forests.
All Martha Stewart Clean products are DfE-compliant.
The Martha Stewart Clean range debuted for 2010 at Home Depot stores, Giant Eagle and Publix supermarkets and on Amazon.com.
More info: www.marthastewartclean.com