This organization was christened "Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution" and although ZCMI was itself never a true cooperative, it spawned a region wide system of local cooperatives owned and operated by the people. Sales totaled over $1.25 million the first year. The store sold a wide variety of goods including clothing, wagons, machinery, sewing machines and carpets -- all available to member cooperatives at the same price as in Salt Lake City. ZCMI served as an outlet for the products produced by the Saints themselves as well as "states" goods.
Opening in 1870 the "Big Boot," as the shoe factory was often called, soon manufactured 83,000 pairs of boots and shoes yearly. Two years after the opening of the shoe factory, ZCMI began production of its own line of work clothes in a new clothing factory, soon to be famous for its "Mountaineer" overalls.