Merz Apothecary moves to Palmer House

By Sandra M. Jones
Posted Oct. 27, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.

Merz Apothecary will close its store inside Macy’s on State Street at the end of the day Wednesday, and begin the week-long process of moving to the Palmer House a few blocks away.

The family-owned business, known for its homeopathic remedies and colorful bath products, plans to open at the historic hotel at 17 E. Monroe St. on Nov. 4. A grand opening is slated for Nov. 11.

The new location at the historic hotel — on the first floor near the bellhop and the Starbucks — will expose the Chicago retailer to thousands of tourists a day, said Anthony Qaiyum, owner of Merz.

“As our web business grows, the store is an advertisement for people all over the country,” Qaiyum said.

The Palmer House boutique is 1,900 square feet, slightly smaller than the 2,100 square feet at Macy’s. But the new store has five display windows facing Monroe Street and more walls, allowing Merz to create more merchandising displays, according to Qaiyum.

The 135-year-old European health care boutique opened inside the former Marshall Field’s flagship in 2003 as part of then-owner Target Corp.’s redesign of the grand department store. The first-floor shop stayed when Macy’s Inc. took over the store two years later.

Swiss immigrant Peter Merz, a Chicago pharmacist, founded the apothecary in 1875 on Chicago’s North Side. The flagship store moved to Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood opened in 1982, where it continues to operate.

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  1. apk Oct. 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    This is great news! Now I will never have to step foot in “Macy Field’s” again!

  2. Babs Oct. 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    apk: I’m with you. Tried to get assistance at Macy’s in Vernon Hills a week ago, and may as well have been in Wal-Mart. The clerk had no interest in assisting me. I went to Betty Schwartz in Highland Park and got great service.

  3. Robert Oct. 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    GREAT NEWS! I guess Mertz was embarrassed to be affiliated with a down-market retailer like Macy’s. It’s a far-cry from the great retailer they had signed with years ago – Marshall Field’s. Now I can shop at Mertz downtown! Yeah!

  4. Some One Oct. 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Awesome! Glad to hear I don’t have to step foot inside Messy’s to go to this great retailer. Great mix of PH and MA.