A new boutique in Norfolk offers the merchandise shoppers might find in big retail stores but at liquidation prices.

Bend the Trend, located at 1106 W. Benjamin Ave., Suite 300, opened in May under the ownership of Kim Rowley, who also had owned and operated a small boutique in Pierce. The shop is a take-off from the liquidation pop-up sales that Rowley occasionally put on in Northeast Nebraska.

“We actually started doing the pop-up stores in Pierce first,” Rowley said. “But people wanted more stuff.”

Rowley said Bend the Trend is not a typical upscale boutique. Rather, the liquidation boutique sells overstock and close-out merchandise from major department stores, including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Target and others. Through her boutique, customers can buy designer apparel and accessories at more affordable prices, she said

Rowley became involved in liquidation sales after working as a creator of affiliate websites. In 2008, T.J. Maxx invited select bloggers — including Rowley — to fly out to Boston to tour its facilities in hopes that attendees would promote them on their respective blogs.

Rowley said she was intrigued by how liquidation merchandising worked — buying overstock, close-out, last-season or even returned merchandise and reselling it for less than retail.

In 2020, Rowley sold her sites to a media corporation and decided to shift her focus to invest in liquidation inventory. She keeps the inventory for the shop in a warehouse north of Norfolk.

“I buy truckloads,” she said. “It’s cheaper by the truckload.”

The truckloads of merchandise can be purchased with or without a manifest or unmanifest, but trucks with a manifest are more expensive, she said.

“If it’s unmanifested, it’s like Christmas every day. You open it up and see what you get. … Sometimes we get really out-of-the-ordinary things,” she said.

Items that can be found in the boutique include clothing from extra small through 4X and jeans from size 00 up to size 24. Shoes, handbags and men’s clothing also can be found, as well as home decor, home goods and some larger items like furniture.

“I like to have stuff at least 75{c30f02d1a3839018c3a3c8c7102050a0b32e2e4f8eba54dea6cc544f0247e749} off retail price,” she said.

Rowley said she gladly accepts marketplace resellers who want to come purchase items at the boutique, as well.

“We have quite a few resellers that come and buy stuff from us. … I don’t have time or the patience to make a listing on Facebook and then have to meet somebody,” she said. “I’d rather turn through the stuff faster.”

The boutique is open only two days per week: From noon until 6 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturdays. Bend the Trend will host its grand opening this Saturday during its regular store hours.

“Those are the busiest shopping times,” Rowley said of the limited boutique hours. “It builds more excitement.”