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Timeline: The Rise and Fall of Mervyns

Key moments in the long history of Mervyns.

1949: Mervin Morris opens the first Mervyns, a 2,800-square-foot store in San Lorenzo, Calif., 20 miles south of Oakland, on July 29. First-day sales exceed $1,500.

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1960: The original store, expanded 13 times, has sales of $2.5 million.

1964: A second Mervyns unit opens in the Fremont Hub Shopping Center south of San Lorenzo.

1971: Mervyns goes public with the sale of 300,000 shares.

1977: The first store outside of California opens. The company has 42 stores and sales of $361 million.

1978: Dayton Hudson Corp. (now Target Corp.) acquires Mervyns. Expansion into the Southwest and Pacific Northwest accelerates.

1984: Mervyns enters the Texas market with nine stores.

1997: The retailer closes stores in Florida and Georgia.

2000:
Sales exceed $4 billion.

2004: Target sells Mervyns to a consortium, including Sun Capital Partners, Cerberus Capital Management and Lubert-Adler and Klaff Partners, for $1.2 billion.

2005: Mervyns says it will close 62 weak stores and eliminate about 4,800 jobs, one-quarter of them full-time positions.

2007:
Rick Leto resigns as chief executive officer after a three-year tenure. The company opens five stores in core markets, two in Arizona and three in California.

2008: In April, John Goodman, president of the Dockers brand at Levi Strauss & Co., succeeds Leto as ceo of Mervyns, but financial difficulties intensify as CIT Group withdraws the store’s credit approval. On July 29, the company and two affiliates file Chapter 11 in Delaware following months of speculation about the retailer’s financial condition. On Oct. 17, Mervyns says it will liquidate all merchandise and auction its store leases.