Where did all the Michigan “Mervyn’s” stores disappear? It was one of those things that I didn’t even realize until someone mentioned the name. “Mervyn’s? Yeah…is there one around here somewhere?”

Well, no, there isn’t.

Who can forget those classic TV commercials where the woman was at the front of the store, hands up on the door, waiting for Mervyn’s to open, saying over and over, “open…open…open…”

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

The store was created by Mervin G. Morris in California who was going to spell the name as “Mervin’s” but was talked out of it, because a “y” instead of an “I” was classier. Okay, sure…why not.

The first Mervyn’s opened in 1949 and quickly became a shopping favorite thanks to reduced overhead, and discounts on jeans, linens, underwear…and many items that had small, hard-to-detect imperfections.

These discounts were helpful in making the country prosper after WW2 ended a few years earlier. Their success continued, and by 1978 they had fifty stores in three states.

They were bought by Target in the latter half of the 1970s and by 2004, they announced they were putting all the Mervyn’s and Field’s stores up for sale.

It didn’t take long for the new owners to decide to get rid of the stores. The announcement was made in the fall of 2005 that 62 units would be closing, including 15 in Michigan.

In 2008, Mervyn’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy which was changed to Chapter 7 liquidation. All 149 Mervyn’s stores were liquidated. In 2009, the Mervyn's website stated to the public that they could sign up to get updates on the future of Mervyn’s.

Their website has since disappeared.

No More Mervyn Stores in Michigan: Here's a Vacated One


Emptied Sears Store, Jackson

Abandoned Rosie's Diner

The Empty Halls of Lansing Mall



More From 99.1 WFMK