Third outlet store to open Monday on Pictou Road
Ken Upham, founder of the UFO (Upham Family Outlet) stores and his daughter, owner/operator Corina Upham, are getting set to open a third outlet in Bible Hill to add to existing stores in Lower Truro and Hilden. HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS
BIBLE HILL - Buy low and sell low.
That was the premise instilled into the first UFO (Upham Family Outlet) when it opened in Hilden in 2005 and which will carry through to the operation of the third site on Pictou Road in Bible Hill when it opens on Monday."
"Well, basically it's the old Sam Walton theory - buy cheap and keep the public happy. They'll keep coming back. Keep trying to find the deals for them," said founder Ken Upham, of the UFO philosophy.
The second store opened last summer on Robie Street at the site of the original Andy's Tire Shop.
But Upham said it was deemed a third outlet was required to satisfy growing customer demand and to fulfill the type of customer service his family wants to provide.
"There's been a lot of people come from this area and to Hilden and find it a long distance," he said. "There's a lot of seniors who can't get out to us, where they can save money, so we thought we would try to cater to more people who can't get to us in Hilden."
His daughter, owner/operator Corina Upham, agreed.
"We have a lot of shoppers who will still drive to Hilden because we have a large variety of groceries out there," she said.
But when a lease offer was made to set up shop in the former Curves location on Pictou Road, the Uphams decided to add a third location to better serve their customers from that portion of the community.
The stores can offer lower prices than some retailers because they deal primarily in liquidation offerings and items that are close to expiry or past expiry dates.
But the products are all inspected, she said, and the pricing is an intentional effort to provide bargain rates to families that often cannot afford to pay full prices, Corina Upham said.
"People have to shop where they can afford to shop and there is no shame in that," she said. "I mean, we have customers who come in here and shop and they say, like, 'We don't know what we would do if we weren't able to come and shop here.'
"We're a much different kind of store. We service a lot of people that maybe can spend a little bit more here because they get a lot more for their money."
Because the stores do deal with a lot of liquidation items, the products' lines can vary from visit to visit.
And Corina said that will also continue with the new location.
"You never know what you are going to see, but probably not as big a mix as what you will see in Hilden," she said. "Hilden will always be our biggest, most diverse store, because we have the most square footage, I think, to work with there."
Although the whole process is still a "growing and learning" work in progress, she added, the inventory mix will remain somewhat fluid.
But Upham believes the Robie Street location will ultimately cater to larger furniture items, building supplies and some groceries, while the Hilden and Bible Hill shops will primarily deal with groceries, with a host of tools and other smaller type items thrown into the mix.
- As of Monday, there will be three UFO stores located in Hilden, Lower Truro and Bible Hill.
- The first store opened in 2003 as Hilden Surplus and was expanded in 2005 to become the first UFO.
- The second outlet opened last summer on Robie Street.
- The stores were founded by Ken Upham and are now operated by is daughter Corina.
Employees: About 25, including numerous family members.