Liquidation underway at Art Van but past customers left with questions

Long lines formed outside the Art Van store in Canton as liquidation sales began Friday.

But loyal customers like one Woodhaven family are now wondering about their house full of Art Van furniture - purchased just one year ago.

"I do love Art Van, so this is shocking to me," Stefanie Crowell said.

Crowell says last year they bought an electric sofa, coffee table, fireplace, bar stools, beds, nightstands, dressers - dining room table - the entire house - and they bought 5 to 10 year warranties on everything.

"It came to $28,000," she said, adding that 30 to 40 percent of the cost were warranties.

Crowell had been in a car accident and this was her settlement money - an investment in their home, their family and their future.

"They said the warranties would be covered in advance," said Gene McCullough. "We said fine, if we buy it now, if it breaks or anything we don't have to worry about replacing it because we paid for it in advance with the warranties."

So far they've had their sofa fixed and the dining room table top is supposed to be replaced. Crowell said that she has things that need to be fixed like a dresser drawer that won't stay shut. But now she can't get anyone on the phone. 

"That is my whole concern right there is why didn't they have better communication with their customers and also what are you going to do next," Crowell said. 

Past Art Van customer Stefanie Crowell

"Where does our warranty go - are we going to get a refund?" said McCullough.

Unfortunately - financial experts say customers have no real recourse. The company is in debt, going out of business and there will be no refunds.

Customers are now hoping to get some good deals - but sad to see this happen to such an iconic company and its employees.

"I've grown up in Warren. and now they're going out of business," said one customer. 

"I hate to see it happen - putting 4,000 people out of work. I could see it coming though when I saw an investment firm buying it," said another customer. "I thought - this can't be good."

Long lines formed outside the Canton Art Van store Friday.