Help Us Keep Reporting. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Select Art Van Furniture stores in Michigan may get a second chance — and a new name

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2020 at 11:14 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA GOOGLEMAPS
  • Photo via GoogleMaps

Art Van Furniture, once the most popular furniture retailer in the Midwest, may get a second chance after announcing it would be closing all of its company-owned stores in early March.

Last week, a U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a $6.9-million agreement that would allow a Texas-based private-equity firm called U.S. Assets, Inc., to purchase 17 Art Van Furniture locations throughout Michigan, The Detroit Free Press reports.



The deal would also include 10 out-of-state Art Van locations, as well as select Levin and Wolf furniture stores. Art Van acquired the two Pennsylvania-based retailers, Levin and Wolf Furniture in 2017.

The deal implies that the company may reopen the 27 locations with a new name while rehiring Art Van's previously laid-off staff, including those stores in Ann Arbor, Warren, Livonia, Royal Oak, Taylor, Shelby Township, and others. It is estimated that 1,000 Michigan Art Van employees lost their jobs following the closures.

The pending sale does not include furniture sold to customers during its liquidation sale (many people never received the items they purchased) nor does it include the actual real estate. According to The Free Press, most of Art Van stores were included in a $550 million acquisition in 2017 to a Boston-based private equity firm.

The US Assets Facebook page says it's preparing to launch a new business called "Loves Furniture." It is unclear if Loves Furniture is a rebranding of the Art Van stores.

Following the March bankruptcy filing, son of Art Van founder, Gary Van Elslander submitted a bid to buy back the Art Van name and trademark, Crain's Detroit reported.

Detroit philanthropist Archie “Art” Van Elslander founded his furniture brand in 1959 with just one storefront along Gratiot Avenue. As the company's popularity and national footprint grew, as did its charitable work in metro Detroit, including its contributions to preserving a major Detroit institution, America's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Elslander died in 2018.

Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 8, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit