History of Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI), Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution, known as ZCMI, the "People's Store," is what one historian called America's First Department Store, and was founded in March 1868. By that date the Latter-day Saints had lived in the Great Basin for little more than two decades but had already foreseen a new threat to their peace and prosperity with the coming of the railroad. To combat the inevitable change that territorial growth would bring Brigham Young gathered a group of community and business leaders to form an organization of community-owned merchandising dedicated to the support of home manufacturing and to sell goods "as low as they can possibly be sold, and let the profits be divided among the people at large."

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