Service Merchandise Corporation: From Showroom Store to Online Outlets and Demonstration Catalog

Corporation Merchandise service StoreService Merchandise Store Beginnings
Service Merchandise is a chain of catalog showroom stores that carry jewelry, toys, sporting goods and electronics from the past. It started in 1934 by Raymond Zimmerman and grew from there. During the 1970’s Service Merchandise was the nation’s top catalog-showroom retailer with billion in annual sales. The showrooms were located mostly in shopping malls and attracted a lot of customers. They operated on the first come, first serve mentality, especially in the jewelry stores. For many years, Service Merchandise was the top watch retailer in the United States. Under Zimmerman’s wing, Service Merchandise acquitted Zim’s Jewelers, HomeOwners Warehouse, The Lingerie Store and a children’s clothing store.

Service Merchandise Corporation Downfall
During the 1980’s the competition got too much for Service Merchandise. With the formation of Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Bed, Bath and Beyond, Service Merchandise began to lose customers. To add to this, Service Merchandise was late on joining the internet craze which resulted in a lack of sales. Eventually, Service Merchandise was forced to reconstruct their store. They got rid of the electronics, toys and sporting good sections and focused their attention on the jewelry, gifts and home decor products. Showrooms decreased and the company was split into parcels. However, in 1999 Service Merchandise could not hold on any longer and filed for bankruptcy. Zimmerman tried to hang on but just couldn’t and thus, in 2002, Service Merchandise closed all the stores.

An Online Demonstration Resurrection
In 2004 Zimmerman pulled Service Merchandise out of the defunct grave and headed to the World Wide Web for a fresh start. Service Merchandise re-appeared as an online outlet store that sells the similar products as the showrooms. Zimmerman is still the owner and Service Merchandise continues to operate online today. The logo is now different but the mentality and savings are still the safe. Zimmerman and Service Merchandise lives on.

Service Merchandise Catalog
Service Merchandise now works with the United Postal Service to deliver goods to their customers over the web. They now specialize in fine jewelry, appliances and seasonal items. They also include sections on outdoor living, religious products, mythical items, candles, baby goods, bulk buys, travel, team spirit and patriotic/Americana. They feature a flat shipping rate of .99 for all orders which is quite cheap compared to other online retail companies. The online store works with a virtual shopping cart where you can click on the different sections, see the product images, description and prices, and shop to your heart’s delight. They are located in Boca Raton, Florida and offer a simplistic approach to shopping. Their website is no muss, no fuss so people can simply shop and click. For anyone who enjoyed the old time charm of the Service Merchandise catalog showrooms, the online version offers a similar experience.