It’s embarrassing to admit it took me about a year to darken the doors of UAL or United Apparel Liquidators. Usually I am pretty curious at heart and when it comes to fashion, off the Richter scale. UAL is even in my neighborhood, theoretically within walking distance. If there was ever of the famous quote, “Never judge a book by its cover”, it applies to United Apparel Liquidators. Quite frankly, when driving by, it looks like one of the surplus stores in Howenwald, TN where one goes to dig. It’s in that odd shopping strip of shops where Apple Market is. (I still call it Compton’s).
Anyway, it was a dark winter evening and I bravely took all three of my daughters inside to look around. My oldest needed a dress for a bat mitzvah and given the department store drill of cheap fabrics and low cut fronts, I thought, “Maybe we can do better.” And we did! The manager Hollie was fantastic. She got us in the dressing room and proceeded to bring dress after dress: all age appropriate for a teen and reasonably priced. What you see on the outside ain’t what you find on the inside. Don’t get me wrong, UAL requires some hard work; IT IS A LIQUIDATOR. But, they do a good job of separating the clothes by color, style and category; there’s just lots and lots of clothes. It is not unusual to find a Miu Miu jacket, a Prada or Valentino dress, or the truly never heard of avant garde designers thrown in with lots of unknown labels.
Then out of the blue, you’ ll find a complete rack of t-shirts, sweater and blouses by Velvet, always available at Anthropologie. I picked up a fabulous Velvet sweater for winter, the inside was lined with a soft grey knit and the outside a iridescent silver for $39. It looks fantastic with jeans and a white t- shirt. UAL is the type of store that popping by periodically truly has its rewards. I stopped in to find a multi-strand necklace of white and silver for $35 (retails over $100) with matching earrings for $20. Hollie says most people get so excited about the clothes and forget about the great accessories. She is the first to tell you what boutique down the street has the exact same necklace for three times as much. Next, I saw a pile of shoes on the floor by Hollywould; every shoe was reduced to $30.
Interesting to find out the owners, Bill and Melody Cohen live in Nashville with great ties to NYC and LA. All the clothes are surplus and sometimes the seasons overlap which is why you can find this season’s goods in UAL. The pricing policy is simple: 70%-90% off retail. It makes the Prada dress at $3,000 easier to consider. The Cohens own stores in New Orleans, Hattiesburg, and Covington, LA. Nashville with over 4,000 square feet is their largest store. The mix of couture can vary from 20-30%.
I ran by this morning to get some photographs and see what new merchandise they have in the store. Here’s what you’ll find TODAY.
LNA Clothing designer t-shirts (both men and women) for $9.99
Fidelity Denim jeans and shorts marked down from $197 to $59.99 ( the shorts are $10 less)
Velvet, Sanctuary, Elijah tops from a low of $29.99 to high of $49.99
Sandals by Bo’em (sold at high end boutiques in Nashville) for $49.99
I took so many pictures in the store, my camera was sizzling! You be the judge…a picture is worth a thousand words.
2918 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203