Saturday, January 2, 2016

Whatever Happened to Carroll Reed?

Are you old enough and preppy enough to remember Carroll Reed?  I loved getting their catalog in the mail, it was like Christmas every time it came (although I was rarely allowed to buy anything).

The stores are long gone but at one time there were as many as 54 stores. The Carroll Reed Ski Shops Inc. was started by Carroll Purinton Reed who built his company around skiing.  He became involved in retailing with Saks Fifth Avenue, which had a ski store (way cool idea, by the way) in North Conway, NH. When that store was shut down, Reed re-opened the shop under his own name.
Reed sold the chain in 1969. By 1985, it was owned by Charles M. Leighton’s CML Group, which also owned prep icon Boston Whaler and The Nature Company. CML sold the company to Swire Pacific in 1990. It was mostly downhill after that. Reed died in 1995. It was later purchased by D.M. Management, which later became J. Jill, for just over $6 million.

Carroll Reed had a sad ending, with the company shutting it down in 1996. You can read about Mr. Reed here who was instrumental in promoting skiing in New England.

Remember the old Geiger Jackets?  You can buy them vintage on Etsy.

At one time Talbots (the old one, not the one we have today) and Carroll Reed were "the" places to shop for preppy girls.  Sad ending for a great brand. Seems like J Crew is headed down the same path to destruction. Love seeing the vintage pieces on Ebay and Etsy. Fun to stroll down memory lane from time-to-time isn't it? 


  1. I so remember Carroll Reed. Loved their clothing.

  2. Wow, you took me down memory lane with that one. DId you ever know the Concord Country store also. It was like the old Talbots. Very interesting, but also wondering what was you inspiration for writing it. Cheers and thank you Lydia

  3. I still have one of my Geiger jackets and I bought my Jacques Cohen espadrilles from Carroll Reed. Sad ending to a great store. I always wondered what had happened to them. I'm thinking the same way about J Crew - quality is down, but the prices are up. They're trying too hard and it shows.

  4. Loved CR and old Talbots .... I recently ordered a pair of driving shoes from Talbots. I'm hoping they are of good quality. Finding classic style clothing can be difficult these days!

  5. Thank you for this post. I so loved Carroll Reed and still have a few sweaters

  6. I actually am still using some Carroll Reed towels - better quality than any towels you can buy today!

  7. Was hoping to replace a few of my favorite mock turtleneck shirts. Guess I'll take very good care of them one more season!! Although I really like some of is NOT Caroll Reed.
    Thanks for the lovely post and tribute...


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