I Never Worked a Day in My Life book cover

I Never Worked a Day in My Life

The Service Merchandise Story


With hundreds of stores coast to coast, Service Merchandise was a retail leader in its day. At its helm for much of that time was Raymond Zimmerman, whose parents opened a five-and-ten-cent store in 1934 in a small Tennessee town and built the business into a national chain of thriving catalog showrooms.

In this memoir, the longtime CEO takes us from his boyhood as a helper in that tiny store to a manhood devoted to shepherding a booming enterprise as it faced the retail challenges of the twentieth century and into the new millennium.

The people who made it all happen, Zimmerman emphasizes, were the employees, the vendors, and the countless loyal customers who delighted in the catalog shopping experience. They were, and are, the Service Merchandise family.

I Never Worked a Day in My Life is Raymond Zimmerman’s love letter to that family. It comes straight from the heart of a veteran businessman with an abiding passion for retail.

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