Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mervyns may live again

Mervynsexterior-28Dec2008Longtime clothing retailer Mervyn’s closed December 31. At a bankruptcy auction Tuesday, the various pieces of the carcass were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The WSJ reported yesterday that the three sons of founder Mervin Morris bought the brand name and the Internet assets:

"It's great to have it back in our family after 31 years," said Mr. Morris, principal of Morris Management, a private-equity and real-estate investment company. "We strongly believe we have a very strong, loyal base of families in the Western states that would support Mervyn's."
Meanwhile, other firms purchased the rights to three of the company’s house brands: High Sierra, Hillard & Hanson and Ellemenno.

The report is sketchy and unfortunately there’s been no original reporting by local newspapers, just wire service and other accounts that paraphrase the WSJ report. Given that the chain was based in Hayward. This is exactly the sort of story that reporters would normally do a day two story on — and the original liquidation got plenty of ink locally.

The only other details come from an online story last night at the local CBS affiliate, KPIX Channel 5. Consumer reporter Ann Werner did some original reporting (a rare decision in TV, particularly in a business story):
"My dad built a fabulous chain of stores which was unfortunately mismanaged in the last few years. We wanted to get the family name back or his name back, see if we could create it again," said Mervin's son Jeff Morris.
Oddly, neither my wife nor I saw the story on the 11pm news.

The KPIX account implies that the reborn Mervyn’s may never come back as a brick and mortar store:
"I don't think you're going to see Mervyn's reincarnated in its original form. I think there will be a Mervyn's name on the horizon somewhere there, just how and when and what the magnitude will be I am not sure. That is going to depend on my boys," said Merv Morris.
With no stores and no house brands, I don’t know what the new Mervyn’s would offer those of us who lamented its passing. On other hand, no one could fault the Morris brothers for building slowly and prudently, only to the degree that they can bootstrap a viable and self-sustaining business.


Anonymous said...

I worked for Mervyn's for 32 years it was the best company when Mervin Morris owned it. When Target owned it we couldn't believe some of the things that went on. People always tell me that they don't know where to go now that it is gone. The other stores are not the same. I wish it would come back too.... I know many of us that would love to go back.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Mervyn's for 24 Years and was an Assistant Manager when we closed. I truely loved my job and would go back in a heartbeat if they were to reopen in northern california. I beleive the Morris family knows what it will take to bring back a store that consumers can afford and would shop there again given the chance.

Anonymous said...


kim adams said...

I used to shop at Mervyns weekly. I have been so lost without it. There is no other store that compares. Kohl's is cluttered. Clothes are mixed up and in several places. Sears, ugh...Mervyns had it all! Great displays, service, quality clothing for a reasonable price. I shopped for shoes, clothes, birthday gifts....I do hope it returns because my shopping experiences have never been the same.

Anonymous said...

I was devasted when Mervyns closed their doors. I can speak for many others. As a chronic shopper Mervyns had it all. Quality, service, good displays and great sales. I used to shop in Mervyns weekly and sometimes more. I really wish it would come back.
Kohl's will never replace Mervyns. Kohl's personal needs much improvement. They are clutterd and clothes and other items are always mixed and even in wrong departments.

Anonymous said...

I was so upset when I heard they were closing down my store, Mervyn's! I always called it my store because I shopped there since it opened 23 yrs. ago in Sana Fe, NM. I bought all my clothing there and for everybody else also. We loved shopping there for the Holiday Season and now I don't know what we will do. I loved my Hillard and Hanson clothing and shoes and I am so sad without these Brands. I loved their shoes, lingerie, and you name it. Please bring Mervyn's Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!Please!!!!!!!!!!

Kathleen said...

I'm waiting and hoping for Mervyn's to come back. We're all waiting for it! Our demographic doesn't know where in the world to shop anymore. In fact, I haven't bought any clothes since it closed. I don't like Wal-Mart or Kholls. Mervyn's was special, convenient, comfortable, friendly, affordable. I miss it very, very much. My fingers are crossed. And I think the Mervyn's brothers would be very happily surprised to discover an extremely loyal following if they were to reopen!! :)

Anonymous said...

I too miss Mervyn's sooo much, I really do hope it comes back, i use to do all my shopping there. Kohls just doesnt do it for me, its not My mervyns. I do enjoy other stores, however mervyns was my main one, especially when i would buy clothes for my daughter. The style and brands, and price I miss it.

Anonymous said...

I sooo miss Mervyns it needs to come back and maybe under new management it can pay the employess better which will lead to more dedicated workers better service and still GREAT prices and GREAT clothes....Oh with Mervyns being gone I feel like I lost a best friend!!!

Anonymous said...

Come back MERVYNS, we miss you!!!Can't shop with confidence, comfort and quality you offered.

cynthia said...

I deeply miss Mervyn's with all my heart... we had 3 locations in El Paso TX. Mervyn's was my first job and I became a one customer. Khols took over but its not the same their clothes and prices are horrible. if there where a way that Mervyn's would reopen it would make me so happy. El Paso Tx misses Mervyn's and I hope God gives u back the faith and power to reopen..

Marji said...

Please bring Mervyn's back! I am in DIRE need of my Hillard and Hanson clothing!! Miss your shoe dept and I could buy for my kids without complaint too!!

Marji Works
Monrovia Store, Calif.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I found myself surfing the web for Hillard and Hanson today. I can't believe after all ths time, I am still having feining for Mervyn's!! I have to concur with the other post's in that Mervyn's had it's own niche in the market. Please bring it back!

Anonymous said...

Mervyns was my very 1st job. I started back in 1973 as a young adult. I loved my job and loved Mervyns. I was soooo sad when they closed and even 3 yrs later, I still don't know how or where to shop. I keep hoping that Mervyns will come back. The old desserted store sits empty with only the faded name on the building. I too am crossing my fingers for the return of Mervyns.

Anonymous said...

I worked in the corporate headquarters for 3 years and witnessed firsthand the blatant abuse from the top executives. They milked the company, did not care about the name or community standing and were more concerned with the perks gained from being at the top. For example, all top executives received either top of the line BMW's or Mercedes and when all employees were finally let go, HR gave the top executives down to Director level a severance package. All other employees were told they had to work till the final day and on that last day, when they were terminated, HR told them there would be NO severance. In actuality, the severance was taken by the top executives.

An example of bad decision making, the Director of the Men's area left leaving the position open. Instead of hiring the qualified applicant, top executives decided to move from product management to the Director role a person who had NO prior experience in Design. Hea was only hired because of his popularity, not merit. After only a few months he left Mervyns.

Dumb decisions were constantly made, like changing the look of the branded lines to be in tune with Hugo Boss or Abercrombie when the customer was not shopping for those looks - saying (and I quote the SVP), "when the Mexican farmer gets off his tractor or from the field, he doesn't want the crappy clothes we used to sell, he wants to look like that Hugo Boss guy; especially when he goes to church." - Just CRAZY! He wants to look good - if he wants to look like Hugo Boss, he would buy their line. The customer was purchasing and looked for the same look and quality but this was not what the top wanted.

If the Morris family wants the company to succeed in the future, I would advise NOT hiring any of the top executives back and really, REALLY concentrate on talent that first off, knows, understands and believes in the company name and respects the founder and all Mr. Morris did for the community.

Jacob Sosa said...

Mervyn's was always my top favorite store to buy my clothes and shoes at. Mervyn's had everything we needed, they had the best clothes and shoes, good quality business, blowout sales, great customer service and awesome locations. I've been shopping at Mervyn's since I was a kid in the 90's and now I don't have a clue where to shop at ever since Mervyn's went out of business and closed in 2008.

Kohl's is just as NOT as good as Mervyn's was and Kohl's service is overrated! Kohl's has terrible clothes, awful shoes, bad quality and all the clothes and shoes are mixed up and it's hard to find anything there on sales too. I also agree...Kohl's will never replace Mervyn's at all no matter how long they stay in business. Mervyn's will always be number 1# forever!! Kohl's just plain sucks and they need to close Kohl's and bring back Mervyn's. I miss Mervyn's so much and I want it back.

With that being said, some rich person or a billionaire should buy Mervyn's California from Target Corporation and Sun Capital Partners so that we can
re-open Mervyn's California again and go shopping there again. Close Kohl's for good and bring back mervyn's california again so that we can shop at our favorite store again. I really want Mervyn's to re-open at Southland Mall in Hayward, CA again, in Fremont, CA and all over the United States again!

That's why I'm going to start a petition to bring back mervyn's again and you all should start petitions to bring back mervyn's too so that we can show Target and Sun Capital Partners that we want Mervyn's back and not Kohl's.

So I'm really, really praying for Mervyn's to re-open again so that I can buy my favorite clothes and shoes there again. When I go to Collage, I'll work on bringing Mervyn's back for reals!

Mervyn's California FOREVER!!!!