Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution

Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution was founded in 1868 and was the first department store in the United States For many years, it used the slogan, "America's first department store." Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, it quickly became a household name in the community. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a significant influence in the company, retaining a majority interest in ZCMI until its eventual sale. The store was established by a vote from the Council of Fifty, an early organization in the LDS church.


In December 1999, as a result of negative profit results for two consecutive years along with mounting economic and social pressures, ZCMI was sold to the May Department Stores Company. ZCMI operated under its original name as a part of May's Portland, Oregon-based Meier & Frank division until April 2002, when the stores adopted the Meier & Frank name. In addition to the name change, the stores in Logan, St. George, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello were sold to Dillard's. By August 2002, the stores were further consolidated within May into the company's Los Angeles, California division, Robinsons-May, though retaining the Meier & Frank nameplate.

Former Locations

Utah ZCMI Stores

Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution II Stores

In addition to the above locations, there were also a few ZCMI II stores, a smaller concept retailer opened in new locations with limited services and departments, as well as much smaller square footage. These stores were generally on a single level and with the exception of the Fashion Place Mall location, located in smaller shopping developments. Save for the Fashion Place location (which operates as Macy's), no former ZCMI II stores are still in operation.

Idaho ZCMI Stores

  • Idaho Falls - Grand Teton Mall (opened 1984, closed/sold to Dillard's 2001)
  • Pocatello - Pine Ridge Mall (opened 1981, closed/sold to Dillard's 2001)

Utah ZCMI Restaurants

Most of the larger stores (Salt Lake, South Towne, Cottonwood, University Mall, Ogden City Mall) had restaurants, and some had delis and bakeries. All the eateries are now closed, as of 31 January 2007, when the downtown Salt Lake City Tiffin Room closed for the construction of the City Creek Center retail project.

By the same name

A souvenir store, snack bar and general store in Nauvoo, Illinois, across the street from the LDS Church's Temple there, was opened in 2006 under the name Zions Mercantile.


  • The Great Brain children's book series, which takes place in Utah, makes several references to ZCMI stores throughout the series.
  • The Danish band D-A-D has made a song called ZCMI

External links

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