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Art Van Furniture to close all stores

Dive Brief:

  • Art Van Furniture on Thursday announced it would close all of its namesake stores, Art Van PureSleep stores and Scott Shuptrine Interiors stores in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri, with liquidation sales beginning Friday. The company will also liquidate eight Wolf Furniture stores in Maryland and Virginia, according to a company press release.

  • Levin & Wolf Furniture in Ohio and Pennsylvania will be sold to Robert Levin, pending court approval.

  • The furniture company, which opened its first store more than 60 years ago, was acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners in early 2017.

Dive Insight:

Founder Art Van Elsander opened the first of his stores in 1959 in the Detroit area and grew his business to be one of the leading furniture retailers in the Midwest.

But as of late, the company suffered from changing consumer shopping habits and increased competition. “Despite our best efforts to remain open, the Company’s brands and operating performance have been hit hard by a challenging retail environment,” an Art Van Furniture spokesperson said in a statement.

The home category has become more saturated, with online entrants like Wayfair and Amazon, off-price and discounters like HomeGoods, and mass merchants that have ramped up their offerings. As a result, legacy players are falling out of favor with consumers. Last month, home goods retailer Pier 1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has begun looking for buyers, as it begins going-out-of-business sales at up to 450 locations.

The mattress category, a key product area for Art Van Furniture, has also changed rapidly over the years. E-commerce brands like Casper, Leesa, Tuft & Needle and Purple are stealing market share from more traditional players. Mattress Firm and Mattress Solutions have filed for bankruptcy protection themselves in recent years.

Art Van Furniture as recently as last month was exploring its options, mulling a sale or potential bankruptcy, The Detroit News reported.

The Levin & Wolf furniture stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania, pending court approval, will return to the hands of the Levin Furniture founder’s grandson, Robert Levin. In 2017, Art Van Furniture acquired Levin Furniture and Wolf Furniture for an undisclosed amount.

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