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Bankrupt Art Van suspends all sales in its stores immediately

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Warren — Bankrupt Metro Detroit-based furniture retailer Art Van said it is suspending all sales operations in its stores immediately because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Due to the unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19, and consistent with guidance issued by federal, state and local public health authorities, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all sales operations in all of our stores," it said in a statement on its website.

Art Van Furniture store in Livonia.

Customers will be able to continue in-store pickup through Sunday; however, stores will observe guidelines for social distancing and hand sanitation to protect employees and other customers, it said. Distribution center operations will also continue.

"We would like to extend our sincere empathy for the extraordinary hardship so many of our customers, employees and communities are facing," the company said. "Unfortunately, a confluence of factors has left us with no alternative at this time but to take this action and notify you in as orderly a way as we possibly can."

It also said it knows customers will have questions about customer service polices and other tops. Its employees will be working to finalize and document details so they can be communicated as soon as possible.

"We thank you for your patronage and hope that you and your families stay safe and well during this very challenging time."

Based in Warren, the 61-year-old furniture and mattress retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 8 in Delaware, three days after it launched liquidation sales at most of its 190 stores. 

The company was founded in 1959 with one store by Art Van Elslander. It had 190 stores and 3,100 employees in nine states, including Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio. The Van Elslander family sold the chain in 2017 to Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners for $550 million. Art Van Elslander died in February 2018.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez