Art Van Furniture, the Warren-based company founded by the late Art Van Elslander in Detroit in 1959, is closing. Liquidation sales are set to begin Friday at all company-owned stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio.
The company operates under the brands Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, and Scott Shuptrine Interiors. Levin and Wolf Furniture in Ohio and Pennsylvania will be sold to Robert Levin, pending court approval. Eight Wolf Furniture stores in Maryland and Virginia also will also be liquidated.
“Despite our best efforts to remain open, the company’s brands and operating performance have been hit hard by a challenging retail environment,” says Diane Charles, a spokeswoman for Art Van Furniture. “We recognize the extraordinary retail, community, and philanthropic legacies that Art Van Furniture has built for decades in the community.”
There are 141 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri. There also are additional franchise locations across Michigan and those stores will not be affected by the liquidation.
The company informed employees, via a phone call today, that it has a FAQ package prepared for compensation, benefits, health care, and 401K.
“On behalf of the company we want to offer our sincere appreciation to our employees for their dedication, commitment, and hard work,” Charles says. “We also want to extend our gratitude to the many customers, vendors, franchisees, charities and communities who have supported these retailers.”
Art Van Elslander, opened his first furniture store on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit in 1959, growing it to the number one furniture and mattress retailer in the Midwest with more than 100 stores in six decades. He sold the company to the Thomas H. Lee private equity firm in January 2017. Van Elslander died in February 2018 at age 87.
The company has sponsored the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade since the mid-1990s. No comment has been made about its future although there is an agreement in place through 2021.