Paula Deen’s Empire Continues To Crumble As Target Phases Out Her Products



UPDATE: The bloodshed continues — Sears, Walgreens and Kmart will all be phasing out Paula Deen’s products as well. 

Sears Holdings (which owns Sears and Kmart both) is done with Deen, reports TMZ, saying: “After careful consideration of all available information, we have made the decision to phase out all products tied to [Paula Deen’s] brand.”

Walgreens has also chimed in, noting that it’s “phasing out” her products.


It’s been a week of cutting ties and ending business partnerships for Paula Deen’s formerly sprawling empire. The Southern chef has waved adios to deals with the Food Network, Smithfield Foods, Caesars Entertainment, Walmart, Home Depot and now, after it had been “evaluating the situation,” Target is the latest company to put let the axe fall.

Target said Thursday that it’ll be phasing out its Deen-branded cookware (side note: How did she sell cookware everywhere and yet JCPenney and Macy’s fight over Martha Stewart like two cats after a mouse?), and after that’s gone, it’s gone.

“Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory,” said a Target spokeswoman.

Home Depot only sold Deen’s branded goods online and said earlier this week that all items have been pulled from the website.

One company of note that’s left standing is the drug maker Novo Nordisk, which said it and Deen have “mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now.” The chef had been promoting the company’s diabetes drug Victoza since last year, when she revealed she has Type 2 diabetes.

So how much is she exactly losing out on? The president of one retail consultancy firm, Strategic Resource Group, tells the Associated Press it could be a hefty chunk. He estimates her total annual revenue of almost $100 million, and says she may have lost as much as half of that already, and could lose about 80% of that by next year.

“The accelerating domino effect is commercially disastrous for Paula Deen’s empire,” he said.

One bright spot for Deen — her annual cruise trip added an extra voyage to the 2014 event.

Target cuts ties with Deen; drugmaker distances [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.