TUPELO – Reed’s department store has been a fixture in downtown Tupelo since 1905 and is the oldest family-owned store in the city.
But, said Lucia Randle, the marketing director for Reed’s, it’s time for a little updating.
Renovation work that will take several weeks to complete will maintain the character of the store, but also move it into the 21st century, she said.
It’s the first major renovation at the store since 1985, when Ronald Reagan began his second term as president.
The shoe department is currently blocked off for the first big piece of the project.
“We’ve replaced the carpet in a couple of areas already, but there’s a lot of other improvements we’re making,” Randle said.
The checkered-tile floor was kept, but the dark interior will be brightened with new paint. The columns, for example, will be a light gray.
New lighting and fixtures will be added as well.
Historic images of Tupelo’s past will be enlarged and go on the walls. One of them features a giveaway of a Jersey cow.
Tupelo was once the center of the state’s dairy industry, which helped boost the area economy in the aftermath of the Great Depression.
Reed’s was founded by R.W. Reed Sr., who opened a general dry goods store in Tupelo in 1905, not long after he moved from Itawamba County.
The company also has stores in Columbus and Starkville, plus another location at The Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo.