Some former Art Van stores to reopen under Loves Furniture
Twenty-seven former Art Van Furniture, Levin Furniture and Wolf Furniture stores in six states — including Michigan — will reopen under a new brand, Loves Furniture, according to the private equity firm that recently agreed to purchase the stores.
Loves Furniture will be headquartered in Royal Oak and expects to hire more than 1,000 employees across the region, Loves and owner US Assets Inc. said in a news release Tuesday. Some of the workers who lost their jobs due to the recent Art Van bankruptcy filing and closure may be rehired by Loves.
"(Tuesday's) acquisition of these locations across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, represents a tremendous milestone for our company, our associates, and for the communities that we serve," Matthew Damiani, chief executive officer of Loves, said in a statement. "We are thrilled to announce an exciting new retail option for customers in these markets who have been looking for a more modern shopping experience."
Art Van Furniture Inc., which was headquartered in Warren, was founded with one store in 1959, by Art Van Elslander. At the time of its closure in March, the furniture and mattress retailer operated some 190 stores that employed 3,100 people in nine states.
Amid an ongoing Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, a company tied to Texas-based private-equity firm US Assets Inc. last week came to an agreement with Art Van's court-appointed bankruptcy trustee to purchase the inventory and assets of 27 stores, for approximately $6.9 million.
Seventeen of the facilities US Assets has purchased are in Michigan. According to court documents, those stores are located in:
- Royal Oak
- Bay City
- Shelby Township
- Port Huron
- Ann Arbor
- Battle Creek
The other facilities are located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland.
Loves was founded earlier this year by investor Jeff Loves, who is also CEO of US Assets, according to the firm's website. A news release says Loves aims to offer a personalized shopping experience.
"We look forward to bringing a brand-new furniture and mattress offering to market very soon," Love said in a statement. "Our excitement to open these 27 locations is only the beginning as we are already looking at opportunities to grow and expand our new brand with a much larger footprint."
No firm dates were provided, but the company said it plans to do a "soft launch" at stores "in the coming weeks" and may offer discounted services and special products prior to a grand opening.
In March, Art Van announced it would close all of its company-owned and liquidate its inventory. Days later, it filed for bankruptcy. In late March, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, the retailer laid off its employees and suspended all sales.
The closure and bankruptcy filing followed the 2017 sale of the Art Van chain to Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.