Shopping malls may be struggling, but Martha Stewart's brand is stilling selling wherever it is being offered, said Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of Sequential Brands Group (SQBG) - Get Report .
"People are seeing that when you own great brands, you can deliver great results," said Shmidman. "While retail was up 3% last year according to the National Retail Federation, our business was up 10%."
Shares of Sequential, which owns such brands as Martha Stewart Living and Jessica Simpson, are up almost 3% thus far in 2016 after falling almost 40% last year. The company has four verticals: fashion, home, lifestyle and active. Earlier this month, Shmidman added to his active vertical by purchasing yoga-wear provider GAIAM for approximately $146 million in cash.
"Our active vertical was a real star last year," said Shmidman. "While our business was up 10% last year organically, our active division was up 15%, so the ability for us to bolt on another active, or 'athleisure' brand, is a win for us."
Last summer, Sequential announced the purchase of Martha Stewart's brand for $353 million. That deal closed in December and Shmidman said the so-called Domestic Diva has been a wonderful partner thus far.
"Martha reaches over 100 million people a month, so the connectivity and the engagement is almost unparalleled," said Shmidman. "Our job now is to execute against that and convert that into greater commerce. So when we talk about the future growth of the Martha Stewart brand, maybe even doubling over time, that's where that comes from."
Of course, Martha Stewart's goods are sold in department stores across the country, many of which reported troubling first-quarter results. Prominent retailers like Target (TGT) - Get Report , Macy's (M) - Get Report , Kohl's (KSS) - Get Report and Nordtrsom (JWN) - Get Report saw their shares slammed in recent weeks because of concern over consumers spending less on apparel in brick-and-mortar stores. Tough competition from online players like Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report is also weighing on the sector.
Nevertheless, Shmidman said his brands are bridging the digital divide.
"What we don't have at Sequential are leases in malls," said Shmidman. "We don't have inventory in malls that are getting negative double digit traffic. What we do have, are strong brands that connect."