Carroll Reed Memory Tells Something of American Brands

The site received this comment on a story of the value of the Carroll Reed brand, and we saved it as it related to the state of retail in the U.S.

Carroll Reed, now owned by TJ Maxx, was one of the great catalog and sportswear brands, and it is still missed by its consumers (see Christmas catalog pictured here).

Below is the comment:

In 1985, when I took out my first (and only) credit card, – I spent the entire $1,000 limit on the same day, in a Carroll Reed store in northern New Hampshire.

I had a new job and needed clothes, and what a beautiful, classic wardrobe I bought — two jackets (one tweed), three skirts, two slacks, two sweater vests, two sweaters, two blouses, in particular — beautiful shades of grey and muted light and darker seafoam and teal.

The words I would use to describe their merchandise are conservative, fine fabrics and tailoring, classic, beautiful. All qualities that have been intentionally thrown out in today’s utterly debauched America.

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It illustrates a couple of points. First, that consumer credit isn’t bad, if you get something really good. Secondly, it shows up the value of fine tailoring and classic looks. The question now is where are the brands and retailers that illustrate these old principles?

About the Author

  • Garland Pollard

    Garland Pollard is publisher/editor of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands. He has decades of experience across all media, including newspapers, TV, radio, magazines and the web.

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