Shopping Mall Slump No Match for Martha Stewart, Says Sequential Brands CEO

Shopping malls may be struggling, but Martha Stewart's brand is still flying off the shelves.
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Shopping malls may be struggling, but Martha Stewart's brand is still 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 three percent last year according to the National Retail Federation, our business was up 10 percent.' Shares of Sequential, which owns brands including Martha Stewart Living and Jessica Simpson, are up almost three percent thus far in 2016 after falling almost 40 percent 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 percent last year organically, our active division was up 15 percent, so the ability for us to bolt on another active, or 'athleisure' brand, is a win for us.'