Liquidation sales close Art Van stores early, employees left without answers

Massive crowds forced closures of Art Van stores across metro Detroit Saturday as the stores were not able to keep up with the volume of customers taking part in weekend liquidation sales. 

Cell phone video from Mary Ballevitch shows what customers looking to get in on the deals dealt with on saturday afternoon.

Mary who lives nearby the Art Van on 14 Mile in Warren says, "I was very frustrated because they don't like to let you out of the apartment complex because it shares the parking lot with the Art Van sleep factory too." 

Management sources at Art Van tell Fox 2 that dealing with crowds of angry customers is just the tip of the iceberg for the more than 3500 employees who are devastated from losing their jobs.

Sources say that in the end, it all comes down to how Thomas H Lee, the private equity firm who bought the furniture giant in 2017 has handled business.

Sources say 30 percent of distribution center employees and drivers didn't show up for work this weekend in fear they will not get paid.

Sources continued to say that employees have to buy a new life insurance policy when they no longer work for Art Van even though some have been paying into their policy for decades. Those same sources say the employees can't use vacation time they earned and won't have a severance package or health insurance.

It goes deeper, as sources say that for deliveries the trucks had to be checked for fuel because the company who services their trucks won't fill them up because of the debt. 

Art Van officials say that they will be closed Sunday but will re-open on Monday morning. 

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