This crowd on hand for the opening of one of the many unusual sales which R.W. Reed made famous is typical of the enthusiastic response to the store’s merchandise promotions through the years.
Still a family business, the Reed family continues the Reed’s tradition started in 1905 by founder, R.W. Reed.
Jack Reed, Sr.
Jack Reed, Jr.
Catherine Reed Mize
Camille Reed Sloan
R. W. Reed Sr.
Our founder, R.W. Reed, Sr., moved to Tupelo from Itawamba County in 1905 and opened a general dry goods store. A champion for progress for Tupelo and the rural communities in our area for half a century, he served as the first chairman of the hospital board, the Yocona Area Boy Scouts, served on the State College Board, and in many other civic capacities. His retail accomplishments included America’s first “day and night sale”, when Reed’s opened one Monday morning and closed on Saturday night! His zest for life, for his family, and for his fellow man still serves as an inspiration to us today.
Bob Reed, Jr.
Bob Reed, Jr. returned to Tupelo following his education at Vanderbilt and Harvard and service in World War II to help run the family business. His taste level for quality, style, and elegance made Reed’s one of Tupelo’s – and Mississippi’s – fashion leaders.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Community Federal Savings Bank, he chaired the United Way and the Red Cross, and was involved in many other civic and church (1st United Methodist) positions of responsibility. His loyalty and quick wit made him a favorite of our staff and customers for nearly 50 years.
Jack Reed, Sr.
After his education at Vanderbilt and New York University along with service in World War II, Jack Reed Sr. returned home to Tupelo. His energy and ability helped make Reed’s the leading independent store in North Mississippi, and he directed our expansions into Columbus and Starkville and the Mall at Barnes Crossing. His extraordinary community service includes chairing the Yocona Area Council, the First United Methodist Church, Lift, Inc., the Community Development Foundation, the M.E.C., CREATE, and serving as the first lay chairman of the State Board of Education.
As one employee said, “Mr. Reed was the best governor Mississippi never had!” His leadership epitomizes the many good things that an independent family business can bring to a community.
Jack Reed, Jr.
Jack Reed, Jr. joined Reed’s in 1980 after several years practicing law in Tupelo. He became President in 1987. Jack was born and raised in Tupelo. He graduated with honors from both Tupelo High School and Vanderbilt University. At the University of Mississippi School of Law he served on the Editorial Board of the Mississippi Law Journal and as President of the Law School Student Body.
Following a pathway walked by his father and Chairman, Jack Reed, Sr., and his grandfather and founder R. W. Reed, Sr., Jack had devoted much time and energy to putting back into his communities – both local and state. He has served as Chairman of the Community Development Foundation, the United Way of Greater Lee County, Northeast Mississippi Habitat for Humanity, The Free Clinic, the Kiwanis Club, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, and the Mississippi Economic Council.
During his time at Reed’s our store was named Mississippi’s First “Store of the Year” by the prestigious Mississippi Business Journal, and has been chosen Tupelo and Lee County’s Friendliest Store 14 years in a row.
Reed’s has been a trendsetter. It was the first store in America to carry both Hart Schaffner & Marx clothing and outdoor leader Patagonia. His duties include continuing to serve as the buyer for menswear.
Jack and his wife Lisa have two children — a daughter Kirk Reed Forrester, who with her husband Tate has two daughters, Bess and Reed, and a son Jack, who is married to Ashley.
His personal Motto is “God wants life to be a party; it’s up to us to make sure that everyone is invited.”
Lex Jackson grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. He graduated from Huntsville High School, and received his Business Degree from the University of Mississippi.
He joined Reed’s in 1970 and first worked at Reed’s Historic Downtown Tupelo Store, then the Tupelo Mall Store which at that time was only the second mall in the State of Mississippi.
In 1973 he and the Reed family opened Reed’s of Columbus in the Leigh Mall. In 1997, it moved to their present location in Jackson Square, where Reed’s of Columbus fills 19,000 square feet of Columbus’ prime retail real estate and serves as the community’s leading specialty retailer.
In 1991 they opened Reed’s of Starkville in the old historic Starkville Post Office building on University Drive. It is the favorite destination for Mississippi State students looking for the best in outdoor apparel and footwear as well as the latest fashion trends.
Being mentored by Jack Reed, Sr. on the importance of community service, Lex served as President/Chairman, Lowndes County United Way; Chairman, Lowndes Chamber of Commerce; President, Columbus Rotary Club; Chairman, Lowndes County Heart Association; Director – Mississippi Retail Merchants Association, Red Cross, Contact Teleministries, Economic Development Association, and GTR Medical Foundation.
Lex and his wife Judith have two children, Carlton and Carrie, and four grandchildren McLean, Hayes, Lex, and Oliver.
Mr. Jackson says, “Being part of the Reed family and the values they hold on life and business have been the reason the association is so perfect”.
The Reeds certainly agree.
Here are some photos of our history through the years: