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Art Van Stores Closing: Liquidation Sales To Start Friday


News of plans to Art Van stores closing, all of its more than 300 stores, in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio after struggling with heavy debt and a disrupted furniture and mattress retail landscape under private-equity ownership published by The company on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the company stated Thursday it would start the wind-down of operations and begin liquidation sales of all of its company-owned stores Friday.

Hilco Global and Gordon Brothers have been retained to assist Art Van in liquidating, the company said employees in a memo sent Thursday and obtained by Crain’s.

Art Van’s roughly 200 Levin Furniture and Wolf Furniture stores, which the company acquired in 2017, will be sold back to former owner Robert Levin, pending court approval, the company announced in a press statement. Eight of those stores, nevertheless, will be liquidated, the company added in the employee memo.

The statement about Art Van Stores Closing released only three years after the company’s sale by the Van Elslander family to a private-equity firm.

Boston-based private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners bought a majority stake in Art Van Furniture in early 2017, approximately a year before the death of company founder Archie Van Elslander at age 87.

Art Van will continue Liquidation Sales

The furniture retailer announced Thursday it is shutting down operations and will begin liquidating all assets.

News of plans to Art Van stores closing announced by The company on Thursday
USA Today

However, Liquidation sales start Friday, March 6 at all Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, and Scott Shuptrine Interiors in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri, and select Wolf stores in Maryland and Virginia. 

“Despite our best efforts to remain open, the company’s brands and operating performance have been hit hard by a challenging retail environment,” spokesperson Diane Charles responded in a statement. “We recognize the extraordinary retail, community, and philanthropic legacies that Art Van Furniture has built for decades in the community.”

The company operates under the brands Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, and Scott Shuptrine Interiors. Levin & Wolf Furniture in Ohio and Pennsylvania will be sold to Robert Levin, pending court approval. 8 Wolf Furniture stores in Maryland and Virginia will also be liquidated. 

“On behalf of the company we want to offer our sincere appreciation to our employees for their dedication, commitment, and hard work. We also want to extend our gratitude to the many customers, vendors, franchisees, charities, and communities who have supported these retailers,” Charles said.

Art Van Furniture started in 1959 as a single store on Gratiot Avenue and grew to the number one furniture and mattress retailer in the Midwest with more than 200 stores.

Boston-based public equity firm Thomas H Lee Partners bought the company in 2017.

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