Art Van Furniture announced today it is going out of business and closing all of its stores, including Norton Shores’ Art Van Furniture at 630 Seminole Rd. and Art Van PureSleep at 1664 E. Sternberg Road. Liquidation sales will begin Friday, March 6.
“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 Furniture spokesperson Diane Charles said in a press statement. “We recognize the extraordinary retail, community and philanthropic legacies that Art Van Furniture has built for decades in the community.”
All Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep and Scott Shuptrine Interiors locations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio will close, including 97 stores in Michigan. Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs; about 33,100 individuals work throughout the Art Van system, Charles said.
The spokeswoman said there are fewer than 30 employees at both of the Norton Shores locations, but she did not provide an exact number. Employees at the Norton Shores stores said they were instructed to direct any questions from the press to Charles.
The company told employees during a phone call today that it has a FAQ package prepared for compensation, benefits, health care, and 401K plans. No further details were available.
Charles did not say when the Norton Shores locations will close, and she said the various stores will end operations at different times. Exact closure dates will be determined by the liquidation company, according to the spokeswoman.
Customers who recently made purchases at Art Van Furniture and still have a balance will be responsible for paying it, but company warranties may not be worth much, if anything, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
Art Van Elslander opened his first furniture store in metro Detroit in 1959, and the company was sold to Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, in 2017. Van Elslander died in February 2018 at the age of 87.
“On behalf of the company we want to offer our sincere appreciation to our employees for their dedication, commitment and hard work,” Charles said in the same statement. “We also want to extend our gratitude to the many customers, vendors, franchisees, charities and communities who have supported these retailers.”