The retailer has been widely linked to Stewart because it carries many of her housewares products, under the brand name "Martha Stewart Everyday." Now the firmness of the partnership is the object of much speculation.
The two companies seemed to be enjoying each others' company up until recently. Stewart's line lent some solidity to the marketer in time of financial trouble and Kmart remained one of the largest retailers of Stewart products.
But late last month, Kmart announced it was filing a lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living, charging it with overcharging on royalty payments. Kmart has made a similar charge against another company, yet there remain questions about the timing of the suit.
Some impact from her conviction is expected, but to what degree is still being debated. The retail giant did see its stock drop about 60 cents a share Friday according to a story filed that afternoon with Associated Press.
Then, in a CNN/Money report from Monday, analysts indicated that Martha Stewart Living was in danger of declining revenue from its deal with Kmart. Of course, lower revenues for Stewart could translate into the same for Kmart.
Little has been forthcoming from Kmart Corporate, other than a statement indicating it will not engage in any speculation. And Woods Cross Kmart manager John Sanford said Friday he had not heard anything from the front office.
Locally, most people contacted said they didn't believe the case would have a major impact on Kmart. One of those, Erik Knutsen, an investment consultant at the Bountiful Edward Jones office, said that what may be damaging to Martha Stewart Living, may not be for Kmart.
"Stewart is only one of many product lines marketed at Kmart," he explained. "So their revenue from that one line may not be that much when compared against the overall picture."
Nate Dorsey, a resident of Bountiful, said he had not been following the Martha Stewart case that closely, but he felt there would be some impact from it on Kmart.
"They say that any publicity is good," he reported, "but whether it that will be true in this case is hard to say."
Another Bountiful citizen, Megan Johnson said she believed Martha Stewart got what she deserved, "but it probably won't have impact on my shopping at Kmart. I like some of her products."
A former Kmart employee, who asked that her name not be used, said she didn't think Stewart's conviction will do any harm to either to her or to Kmart.
"Martha Stewart has fans who will back her up just like they did the last time she was in trouble," she stated. "What happened to her doesn't bother me. If I want a good product, I'll go to her line."
The respondent added that the Martha Stewart line has helped the store. Stewart, she noted, "knows how to decorate and produces quality items."
"I personally think her items are reasonably priced," she added.
Few other people doubt, however, that Stewart's company will be damaged. Stock prices have already tumbled, advertising revenue is down both with its magazine and television products and some of Viacom's local CBS stations had even dropped Stewart's television show.
With sentencing in the case set for June 17, and the appeals process to follow, the case will certainly remain on people's minds for a long time to come.