Mervyns is an American department store chain based in Hayward, California. It carries national brands of clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, and housewares. Many of the company's stores are found in shopping malls. As of December 2006 Mervyns had 189 stores in 10 states. However, Mervyns closed all of their locations in Oregon and Washington by February 2007, reducing its store count to 172 stores in 8 states. The company said it closed underperforming locations that did not contribute to the company's success. Based on 2005 revenue, Mervyns is the eighty-third largest retailer in the United States. In July 2008, Mervyns announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In 1986, Mervyns made major expansions into the Southeast, with Atlanta being the site of a particularly strong expansion campaign. Mervyns, who never had a retail presence in Georgia, competed for mall space with J.C. Penney and received top anchor spots at several area malls, such as the Town Center Mall, Shannon Mall, North DeKalb Mall, Gwinnett Place Mall and North Point Mall.
The foray into Atlanta was a failure, however, and Mervyns withdrew from Atlanta by 1997. Its former locations were acquired by other department stores.
Mervyn's also ventured into Florida during this time. It also ended in failure, with Mervyn's closing all of its Florida stores in 1998.
From 1996 to 2001, the stores were rebranded as Mervyns California, in an effort to identify with its West Coast roots and history. A media campaign was launched to publicize the rebranding, with TV commercials and catalogs featuring former San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Joe Montana.
The rebranding had little effect on the company's revenues, and the "California" was dropped from the name in 2001, reverting the store back to the original name it has used for years.
In June 2006, Mervyns implemented the MARS (Mervyns Advanced Retail Systems) systems, which replaced the old Target-based cash register systems that the company used. The new program streamlined cash register functions, in addition to integrating store merchandise distribution, logistics, and personnel management functions.
One of the first acts of the new owners was to cease store operations in certain states, with stores in Minnesota being the first ones to fold.
Further store closures were announced in September 2005, as Mervyns announced that it would begin to focus exclusively on its Western and Southwestern markets, and that 62 stores would be closed. Mervyns stores in Michigan, Oklahoma, and Louisiana were the first to close, in February 2006. 28 stores in Texas, as well as one store in Salt Lake City, Utah, were also closed.
In 2007, a further 18 stores were closed. Of the stores closed, 17 of them were in Oregon and Washington, and one was in Grand Junction, Colorado, which was the last remaining Mervyns store in that state.
After the closures are complete, Mervyns will operate about 150 stores: 16 in Arizona, 121 in California, 3 in Nevada, 3 in New Mexico, 7 in Texas and 6 in Utah.