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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
US guru goes global
Martha Stewart website
The same will soon apply to Europeans
European consumers need a touch of gracious living, according to lifestyle guru Martha Stewart.

Martha's millions
Revenues, $m
1997: 133
1998: 180
1999: 232
2000: 286
Ms Stewart is a household name in the United States, thanks to her growing stable of books, magazines and multimedia offerings - all of which tell the American public how to eat, dress, marry, garden and entertain in greater style.

At the same time, she has built her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, into a business powerhouse, with revenues of $286m last year.

Now, she is turning her attention overseas, and plans to launch full-scale assaults on the British, French and German markets, where she is almost completely unknown.

Full-blown assault

According to the New York Post, Ms Stewart is aiming for a "full-blown four-platform approach" in her European operations - pushing out content in magazines, on TV, on the internet and in shops.

Martha Stewart website
Martha Stewart's advice runs the gamut of good living

Her plans are still at a very early stage, she stressed.

But she emphasised the she would not be substantially modifying her basic content model for the overseas market.

"It will be with me - not a German Martha or a French Martha," she told the newspaper.

Ms Stewart, who worked as a model and on Wall Street before turning her hand to catering, features prominently in all her firm's content.

Big in Japan

Well before the European operations get off the ground, Martha Stewart is planning to debut in Japan.

December should see the launch of the Japanese-language "Martha" magazine.

Seiyu website
Martha's Japanese ventures are on the launchpad

She also has a deal with retailer Seiyu to market Martha Stewart branded merchandise in 226 stores around Japan.

Ms Stewart told the New York Post that she planned to expand next into Korea.

Her global ambitions do not end there: after Korea, she plans to take on China, the world's biggest market.

Ils ne passeront pas

But Europe could be Ms Stewart's biggest challenge.

Americans have lapped up Ms Stewart's advice over the past 10 years, but Europeans might prove rather more resistant to being told how to behave.

Especially by - sacre bleu! - an American.

Even in America, Ms Stewart is not universally admired, with satirists making acerbic comments about her style and taste.

On a commercial level, Ms Stewart has timed her move when European markets may already be tiring of celebrity chefs and lifestyle advice.

A string of multimedia lifestyle ventures have gone belly-up this year, most recently the Taste Network, a gourmet broadcaster owned by Carlton Communications and Sainsbury's.

See also:

10 Aug 01 | Business
Gourmet web and TV venture axed
24 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Nigella 'tipped for US success'
22 Apr 01 | Business loser list grows
24 Aug 00 | UK
Stars on the sell
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