Service Merchandise

Service Merchandise

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Service Merchandise

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Service Merchandise is an online retailer and former retailer chain of catalog showroom stores carrying fine jewelry, toys, sporting goods, and electronics that existed for 68 years (from 1934 to 2002). The company's former Chairman & CEO, Raymond Zimmerman, resurrected the Service Merchandise name to create a new web store in 2004 ( after buying the name and logo at an auction.


Service Merchandise was originally founded in 1934 by Harry and Mary Zimmerman as a five-and-dime store in the town of Pulaski, Tennessee, near Nashville. The first of what evolved into a huge chain of catalog showrooms opened in 1960 on Broadway St. in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

During the 1970s, Service Merchandise was the Nation's top catalog-showroom retailer. At its peak, the company achieved more than $4,000,000,000 in annual sales. As the company expanded, it began to open showrooms nationwide, mostly in the vicinity of major shopping malls, which were coming into vogue in the mid-1970s. In the early 1980s, the Service Merchandise headquarters moved from Nashville to nearby Brentwood, TN, becoming one of the first businesses to plant itself in the area that is now known as Cool Springs. In May of 1985 the H.J. Wilson Co was acquired by Service Merchandise for approximately $200M. Raymond Zimmerman, CEO was attracted to Wilson's stores to gain a firmer foothold in the Sunbelt states. Several of these Wilson's locations included an off-priced apparel...
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