Former CEO: John Goodman
Status: Closed on 12/31/08
Mervyns department stores were founded in 1949 by Mervin Morris and closed due to bankruptcy in early 2009. Rick Leto was President and Chief Merchandising Officer at the time the company closed its stores. The company was acquired by the predecessor of Target Corporation in 1978 and was operated by Target until 2004. The retailer boasted stores throughout the United States, with the exception of the Northeast. Mervyns was a major retailer of men''s, women''s, and children''s clothing. Many stores also carried home goods and appliances. The Morris family retains the rights to use the Mervyns name and all of the company''s intellectual property and has hinted at the possibility of a future relaunch of the brand.
Until closing their doors, Mervyns careers were well regarded in the world of retail. Each store had a Store Team Leader, several Executive Team Leaders, Department Leaders, and eighty to ninety sales associates. Working at Mervyns offered excellent advancement opportunities were for full-time employees who wished to become department leaders and continue on to executive leadership positions. Mervyns also employed many part-time workers, especially during the holiday season. By the 1990s, all sales floor employees were expected to fill a quota of Mervyns credit card applications during every shift. Executive Team Leaders were also expected to pull in credit applications.
The Mervyns culture was similar to that of other retailers in its segment. During the years of ownership by the Target Corporation, the stores followed the same hiring rules and employee expectations as Target stores. Some employees expressed frustration at using Target logistics and merchandising systems during this period, but overall the switch to these systems was considered a useful and fruitful venture. Due to differences in management teams, employee culture could vary widely between stores. While all management teams were expected to follow the same protocols, difference in interpretation sometimes led to differences between individual stores.
Full-time employees and members of the management team received a Mervyns benefits package that included health insurance and a 401(k) plan. All employees received an employee discount at Mervyns stores. Sales associates underwent a training period which introduced them to the philosophy of retailing and the ethics of the company. While operating, these employees had good opportunities for advancement and growth within the company. After bankruptcy, many Mervyns employees went to work for other retailers. Many store locations went through lengthy liquidation processes before closing. A handful of locations had opened only a few months before the company announced that it would file for bankruptcy.