Store fronts battling online retailers

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)- Its original store takes up a complete block of West Main Street in downtown Tupelo.

R.W. Reed Company was founded in 1905 and has been an iconic symbol of Tupelo through the years.

This mural shows a pregnant Gladys Presley who worked for the company.

And Reeds has a store in Starkville as well as a branch at the Mall at Barnes Crossing. Jack Reed Junior, the former mayor of Tupelo, is president of Reeds.

He says the last Saturday before Christmas is an important day for his company.

“Typically it is the biggest or the second biggest day of the year depending on big Black Friday was. But it’s always been a great in our store. I remember as a boy coming down and just helping restock the white dress shirts because we were selling back then when men were wearing more dress shirts and ties you know we were selling a hundred dress shirts on the Saturday before Christmas, so it’s always been a great day for retail,” said Jack Reed Junior.

And Reed says the weather has been good for clothing sales in 2018.

“The wonderful thing for clothing retailers this year has been the weather’s been colder earlier and so clothes jackets and sweaters and fleeces have moved up the list a bit from over the electronics the CD’s and some of the non-apparel items,” said Reed.

And Reed says having a store at the Mall at Barnes Crossing gives customers more flexibility.

“It’s a lot more hours. It’s open at night. It’s open on Sundays. Our downtown store is not open at night except the week before Christmas, and they’re open on Sunday’s, so that gives us a broader time range for people to shop more conveniently,” said Reed.

And Reed says there are several reasons why Reeds has survived where even national chain brick and mortar stores have succumbed to the online shopping venues like

“As many people as shop on Amazon now they’re still a lot of people that prefer that feel and touch and experience of going in a store. So what we’re trying to do is be the very best experience if you’re shopping a brick and mortar store. And that means professional salespeople, not just one cashier to check you out when you leave. It means having quality apparel,” said Reed.

And our motto is at Reeds we deliver confidence, pride, and joy.

And Reed says the company has branched off into the Bicycle and outdoor venue, with their huge Core Bicycle and Outdoor store in Tupelo. You can even get a surfboard there.

Jack Reed Junior says they shut down in their Columbus store this year when the longtime manager there retired. And that has increased sales at their Starkville store.

Categories: Local News

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