Art Van hires new CEO

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Warren-based Art Van Furniture has named a former chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble and Sears Canada as its new top executive, the retailer announced Thursday.

Starting April 30, Ronald Boire will succeed Kim Yost as CEO. Yost recently announced plans to retire after nine years at Art Van’s helm.

Before coming to Art Van, Boire, 57, most recently served as a principal at The Upland Group, an advisory firm specializing in the development, leadership and execution of transformational strategies for retail and consumer product companies.

“Ron is a tremendous addition to the Art Van family,” Yost said in a statement. “He is a charismatic and dynamic leader, who has an innate passion for the customer and shares our love for product and for sales. He also brings ‘war stories’ from many other sectors of retail, which will be invaluable as Art Van continues to transform the business into the leading all-home omni-channel retailer in the United States.”

Boire’s arrival comes just over a year after Art Van was sold to a Boston-based private equity firm. The retailer has 185 stores in nine states and continues to expand its presence across the Midwest. Founder Art Van Elslander, who started the company with a single store and built it into the Midwest’s No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer, died in February.

Boire, who comes to Art Van with 35 years of experience in the retail industry and is originally from Plattsburgh, New York, said he’s excited about joining the Art Van team and wants to build on its “strong foundation.”

“The furniture and mattress industry is going through a time of significant change and the Art Van portfolio of brands are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the opportunities present in this evolving landscape,” he said.

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