Homemaking Guru Launches New Product Line at Home Depot

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," September 15, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You know, with all of the wonderful hallmark images I have of my friend Martha Stewart, not a one, not a one, has her in a Home Depot.


CAVUTO: Macy's, yes. KB Home, after a while, I even saw that one. Even Costco, doable, doable. But Home Depot?

With me now, Martha Stewart to explain.

This one, I just can't get my arms...

MARTHA STEWART, FOUNDER, MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA: Well, you don't know me personally, because I have been a builder for my whole life, a builder not only...

CAVUTO: Do you have a tool belt?

STEWART: Not only — I certainly have a tool belt.

CAVUTO: You do?


I have a gardening tool belt and a gardening bag. I have — and they sell a lot of gardening stuff.

CAVUTO: They do, indeed.

STEWART: I have a tool belt. I have a tool chest that you would be so jealous of.

CAVUTO: Well, it's all organized.

STEWART: But — of course. But...

CAVUTO: But I just couldn't — what got this thing going?

STEWART: Well, Home Depot — we — we — our Kmart contract is coming an end at the end of January 2010. And we wanted to replace it with something even bigger and better. And we're so excited.

CAVUTO: What happened there, by the way, Martha?

STEWART: Nothing. It's just our contract is..


CAVUTO: Neither party was interested, or you weren't interested?


STEWART: Our contract has run out. It has run its course. And it has been a long and very, very fruitful relationship. So — so, now we're going to Home Depot.

CAVUTO: So, I'm sorry. But that wasn't you saying, you're just too lowbrow for me?



STEWART: No. It's, we wanted — we wanted to have a fruitful future. And we are going to have that with Home Depot. And...

CAVUTO: A very professional response.


CAVUTO: So, what do you do? Will you have that is Martha-branded there?

STEWART: Well, we're starting in January with outdoor living. That means outdoor furniture, accessories and things for the outdoors. That is when a store like Home Depot sells a lot of outdoor things, because it starts in the South, and people are starting to decorate their patios and their terraces, and moves north.

CAVUTO: Right.

STEWART: We're also doing a whole lot of organizing, home organizing, closets, drawers, storage, all kinds of things like that.

And then, as the year goes on, we will be rolling out other categories, which I'm not at liberty to talk about right yet, but we will be back to talk about it.

CAVUTO: But it starts on the outdoor stuff?

STEWART: Yes, it does.

CAVUTO: Now, when this debuts in, what, January 2010...


CAVUTO: So, here we are...


STEWART: Yes, right away, soon.


CAVUTO: Right. But it is the winter. Now, are people thinking of this sort of stuff in the winter?

STEWART: Oh, outdoor furniture?


STEWART: Oh, sure, as I said, we start selling in the Southern stores. Remember, they have 2,200 stores nationwide.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

STEWART: And we will have product in all 2,200 stores. We're very — very pleased with the work we have been doing. We have been — this has been under wraps for about a year now.

CAVUTO: Right.

STEWART: And we have been working very, very hard.

You know, at Martha Stewart Living — and you have never come and visited us. And I'm — I'm sort of — like, I want you to come and visit us.


CAVUTO: I have come on your show. You were nice enough to invite me on your show.

STEWART: No, no, I want you to — I want you to come to our workshops and our design studios, because we have quite an operation going of creative people working...

CAVUTO: It wouldn't be scary there, right? Because your people are very intimidating.

STEWART: Oh, we're very intense.


CAVUTO: I should say, I do — I have the highest respect. You're a very tough boss.

STEWART: Our design studio is like a fairyland. It's like going to Pixar for cartoons, but this is — this is for product design and development.


CAVUTO: Gotcha.

STEWART: And it is like a wonderland there. Our kitchens are great, too. You can have a little snack on the way.

CAVUTO: Well, your kitchens are great.

STEWART: All our recipe kitchens, yes.

CAVUTO: But let me ask you little bit what's fueling this. I mean, many people say your timing is actually pretty good, given the fact the economy does appear to be rounding the bend.

We have seen it in retail sales. We saw it in industrial production numbers that are out, more and more numbers that are showing we're coming back.


CAVUTO: Is the consumer coming back?

STEWART: The consumer is inching back, slowly buying, at first, very important items for the home, the things that are indispensable, things that they need, the sheets, the towels. At Macy's, our business in the soft goods is very good.

CAVUTO: Is that right?

STEWART: In the housewares, it is very good.

So, and we're very pleased with the performance. But we are offering hundreds and hundreds, actually, thousands of SKUs at Macy's of Martha- branded stuff that makes the home a more beautiful, useful, practical place. So...

CAVUTO: Now, you — you have already — and we have talked about this before, that the Martha Stewart brand is an iconic brand worldwide. And a lot of people — and probably this isn't fair — associate it with being pricey.

Now, you tried to disavow people of that notion. So, I'm wondering, at a time when we're all still very dollar-conscious, the Home Depot association or not, whether people say, gee, I love Martha Stewart, but you know?

STEWART: People love our merchandise. They trust it. They use it. They know how good it is.

And we expect to have a very high-quality merchandise at the Home Depot. And I'm — I look at everything. I really do. And I am — and I'm — keep encouraging, not only my team, but also the Home Depot team, to make sure that everything we put out under our brand is going to be of the highest quality and the most useful, beautiful kind of stuff.

So, if it's...


CAVUTO: But Home Depot itself — and I know we couldn't and you can't talk about financial particular, nor the financial details of this arrangement.


CAVUTO: There are still many who wonder in the financial community whether you're going to get even a minimal bang for the buck out of this up front.

Having said that, though, Home Depot itself is coming after some tough times.



CAVUTO: It's dramatically improving, but what do you see happening?


STEWART: Well, they have — 50 percent of their customers are women. What they really...

CAVUTO: Is that so?

STEWART: Oh, yes, yes. I think it's actually 49 percent women.

CAVUTO: I find that place very intimidating.

STEWART: Oh, you do?

CAVUTO: Really.

STEWART: You're not a — you're not a do-it-yourselfer?

CAVUTO: Not at all, not at all.

STEWART: Oh, see, the people I hang out with — you know, the people I hang out with are...

CAVUTO: I just...


CAVUTO: The forklifts running around and the guy saying what kind of wrench I need. I have no idea what he is talking about.


STEWART: Oh, well, see, that interests me a lot.

CAVUTO: Really?

STEWART: And I — I do so many different projects all the time around my property. I live on a farm. We're — we're at Home Depot all the time?

CAVUTO: Really?

STEWART: So, it's — we're painting.

CAVUTO: That would be a media event if they saw you.


STEWART: Well, they do see me. I'm there.


CAVUTO: Because, if I saw you there, I would say, hey, Martha. I can't...


STEWART: Hardware stores, any hardware department is really interesting to me.

CAVUTO: Well, here is something I want you to address. Do you remember when the president had the summit with the professor who got kicked out — arrested outside his house trying to get in, in Massachusetts, had the beer summit there?

STEWART: Oh, yes. Yes.

CAVUTO: You know, the original table they were supposed to use, Martha, was — do we have it, guys? This is — the original table they were going to use, a Home Depot table.

I called it cheesy. Ken Langone, the founder of Home Depot, found out about that, and said it wasn't a cheesy table. But, apparently, after I said it...

STEWART: Where they were going to have their drink of beer together?

CAVUTO: Right.

STEWART: Oh, yes.

CAVUTO: And the president apparently was watching the show, because they switched to the round version.

But that is what I'm saying about Home Depot. Some of the stuff could give people the impression — Ken Langone, if you're watching, I'm sorry — of being a little cheesy.

You're — you — you want to disavow people of that, right?


STEWART: Oh, no, people buy all kinds of things at Home Depot. OK? You buy very good tools.


STEWART: They buy — and we're there to enhance the store, to keep women especially, but I hopeful — hope men, too, longer in the stores, buying more things in the stores.

And that's what we're able to do in a really good way. People come to the — will come to the stores because we're there. And they're going to be looking for our kinds of designs. And — and I'm just very excited about it. I can't wait, because these — these are areas that I haven't been able to manufacture in before, to create and design in.

And now we're going to be able to do a lot of stuff we haven't done yet. It expands our business.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

STEWART: And we're looking for that for the future, expansiveness.

CAVUTO: Look — look forward to it.


CAVUTO: Everything you touch seems to turn out OK.

Martha, very, very good seeing you again.

CAVUTO: Thanks, Neil.

STEWART: Martha Stewart.

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