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Art Van ‘exploring a variety of options’ for company’s future

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published February 21, 2020

 A spokesperson for Art Van Furniture has confirmed that the company is looking at different options following a recent report about its future.

A spokesperson for Art Van Furniture has confirmed that the company is looking at different options following a recent report about its future.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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WARREN — Three years after Art Van Elslander announced plans to sell Art Van Furniture to a private equity firm, a spokesperson has confirmed that the company is “exploring a variety of options” following a recent report about its future.

“We are actively exploring a variety of options with our creditors, investors and landlords to ensure Art Van can continue serving our guests and our communities,” company spokesperson Diane Charles said in a statement on Feb. 17. “It is premature at this time to comment further as no final decisions have been made. In the meantime, our stores are open, and it is business as usual.”

The statement came amid various media reports following a Feb. 14 story in Crain’s Detroit Business about the company’s possible sale or a potential bankruptcy filing.

Van Elslander, who opened his first furniture store on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit in 1959, announced plans to close a deal to sell Art Van Furniture to the Boston-based Thomas H. Lee Partners in February 2017. THL was described as one of the oldest private equity firms in the world, with a successful history of investments in growth-oriented businesses across a variety of markets, including consumer and retail brands. As part of the sales agreement, the terms of the deal were not released.

At the time of the 2017 sale, Warren-based Art Van Furniture operated more than 100 stores across five states and had been named among the top independent and overall furniture retailers in the United States.

Van Elslander died in February 2018.

A message left with the media contacts for THL regarding the company’s future was not returned at press time.

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