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O'Keefe in the News

Art Van to Close Furniture Stores In at Least 5 States

Art Van to Close Furniture Stores In at Least 5 States

March 9, 2020

By Corey Williams, The Associated Press

Art Van Furniture will close all company-owned stores in at least five states as the retailer heads toward liquidation after more than 60 years in business.

Liquidation sales are expected to start Friday, according to the Warren, Michigan-based company.

“Despite our best efforts to remain open, the company’s brands and operating performance have been hit hard by a challenging retail environment,” Art Van spokeswoman Diane Charles said in a statement Thursday. “We recognize the extraordinary retail, community and philanthropic legacies that Art Van Furniture has built for decades in the community.”

Archie “Art” Van Elslander opened his first store in 1959 in suburban Detroit. The company was sold in 2017 to a private equity firm, and Elslander died the following year at age 87.

“Retail bankruptcies have been blossoming over the last four or five years,” said Pat O’Keefe, chief executive of O’Keefe Consulting in Bloomfield Hills. “People who have not developed an internet, digital media presence have suffered. … I think retail will continue to decline as internet shopping increases.”

Art Van operates stores in nine states under various brands. Stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio are expected to close.

The sales that begin Friday will be at all Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep and Scott Shuptrine Interiors in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri. Select Wolf stores in Maryland and Virginia also will have sales.

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