WARREN, Mich. (FOX 2) - Art Van, the furniture store founded in Detroit in 1959, will be liquidated and close all company-owned stores with liquidation sales starting Friday, March 6.
Employees were notified Thursday morning in a company phone call that the company is liquidating.
As a result, the company said all company-owned stores will be closing. The liquidation process is beginning immediately.
"Despite our best efforts to remain open, the Company's brands and operating performance have been hit hard by a challenging retail environment," said Diane Charles, Art Van Furniture spokesperson. "We recognize the extraordinary retail, community and philanthropic legacies that Art Van Furniture has built for decades in the community."
The liquidation sales will begin Friday, March 6 at all Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, and Scott Shuptrine Interiors in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri, and select Wolf stores in Maryland and Virginia.
"On behalf of the Company we want to offer our sincere appreciation to our employees for their dedication, commitment and hard work. We also want to extend our gratitude to the many customers, vendors, franchisees, charities and communities who have supported these retailers," said Charles.
In mid-February, Crain's Detroit reported the store was actively "exploring all options with creditors, investors, and landlords." Crain's also reported Art Van was considering filing for bankruptcy.
Art Van Furniture was founded in 1959 on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit by Art Van Elslander. From there, the store grew to over 100 in the course of six decades.
In January 2017, Art Van announced that the company was being sold to a private equity firm, Thomas H. Lee.
By the time the firm bought the furniture store, there were 100 locations across the Midwest.
As of March 4, 2020, there are 141 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri. There are also additional franchise locations across Michigan. Those stores will not be affected by the liquidation.
We're told stores will officially close May 31.
The company informed employees it has a FAQ package prepared regarding compensation, benefits, healthcare, and 401K. Details are not yet known.