Casual Corner

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Casual Corner
Defunct 2005
Headquarters West Hartford, Connecticut
Number of locations
500+ at peak
Area served
Products Clothing

Casual Corner was an American retail clothing chain founded in 1950. It operated stores under the names Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticate and August Max Woman brands among others. Casual Corner operated more than 525 stores at its peak.


Charles E. Carples and Stanley W. Vogel co-founded Casual Corner in 1950[1] in West Hartford, Connecticut.[2] It was sold to United States Shoe Corporation in 1970 when the chain included 20 stores.[3] A year later, the chain opened its twenty-fifth store[4] and continued to grow rapidly after that.

The chain's target demographic was originally sports-themed wear for women,[5] but by the 1990s it had been redesigned to target working-class women.[6] Casual Corner became the foundation of a larger holding company entitled Women's Specialty Retailing Group, which in addition to Casual Corner owned and operated several other brands including August Max, Sophisticated Woman (these two entities were later combined and renamed August Max Woman), Petite Sophisticate, Ups & Downs, J. Riggings, Caren Charles and Casual Corner Annex.[7] At its peak, US Specialty Retailing included over 1,300 stores nationwide. In 1995, United States Shoe was sold to the Del Vecchio family which took the Women's Specialty Retailing Group private again, after incorporating LensCrafters into their Luxottica business unit and selling the shoe division to Nine West.

With 525 stores in business, Casual Corner closed its remaining locations in late 2005 after selling them to a liquidator.[7][8] The stores were closed due to increased competition.[9]


  1. ^ "Stanley W. Vogel; co-founder of Casual Corner chain". The Providence Journal. 26 September 1989. pp. E–04. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Casual Corner Group closing includes 7 Triad locations Read more: Casual Corner Group closing includes 7 Triad locations". The Business Journal. 2 December 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Casual Corner Sale Planned". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 30 October 1969. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Casual Corner Plans To Open 25th Store". The Hartford Courant. 18 April 1971. p. 14B. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Hagerty, Thomas J. (1 August 1972). "Small stores look to majors for traffic". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Martin, Ellen Rooney (10 January 1999). "FRESHING UP SOME SURPRISES ARE IN STORE AMONG THE CLASSICS ON THESE RACKS". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Casual Corner closing all 525 stores". USA Today. 23 October 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Petite Sophisticate, Casual Corner in retail limbo". Chicago Sun-Times. 8 August 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Hajewski, Doris (November 24, 2005). "Women's apparel chain shuts down". The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 25 July 2011. [dead link]