|Founded||Eastpointe, Michigan (1959)|
|Headquarters||Warren, Michigan, U.S.|
|Key people||Art Van Elslander|
|Revenue||US$440 million (1997 est.)|
Art Van Furniture Inc. is the Midwest's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 37 stores throughout Michigan, five stores in the Chicago area, one store in Toledo, Ohio, one store in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a full service e-commerce website, plus 39 freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan in Metro Detroit,.
Art Van Elslander’s furniture business began in 1959 in a 4,000 square-foot space in Gratiot Avenue and 10 Mile Road in what was then called East Detroit (now Eastpointe). Art Vans Furniture (later changed to Art Van Furniture) opened with mostly modern and Danish-style furniture. By 1963, Van Elslander owned seven stores and had taken on some partners, including his brother, Bob Van Elslander, Don Fox and Bob McEachin. Van Elslander expanded the chain in the 1970s, and purchased headquarters in Warren, Michigan. The company introduced a credit card in 1980.
In 1985, Art Van introduced Clearance Centers attached to many of the stores offering overstocked merchandise at 40 to 70 percent off retail which allowed the company to expand its market penetration. In 2009, the company’s half-centennial, Art Van Furniture was named “Furniture Retailer of the Year” by Furniture Today magazine.
Today, Art Van Furniture operates 37 stores in Michigan and now has 5 stores in the Chicagoland area, with a sixth set to open at the end of March 2014. In addition, the company operates an additional store in Toledo, Ohio, and another in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Art Van also has over 40 freestanding Art Van PureSleep mattress stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Offerings inside some Art Van stores include Paul's TV and Art Van World of Floors. Art Van Furniture also operates three Scott Shuptrine interior design studios in the state of Michigan. The company has more than 3,000 associates and 400 service and delivery vehicles.
In 2010, Art Van acquired Brewbaker's Furniture, which had locations in Petoskey and Onaway. The Onaway store was closed in 2013. That same year, Young's Appliance of Alpena became the chain's first franchised location.
Mattress World Acquisition
In May 2011, Mattress World of Michigan was acquired by Art Van Furniture which said it would keep the Mattress World name on some stores, while others would be rebranded as Art Van PureSleep. It also said it would keep Mattress World's 100 or so employees.
In July 2013, Art Van Furniture announced the conversion of 31 Mattress World locations throughout Michigan and Indianapolis to its signature Art Van PureSleep stores, creating 76 Art Van PureSleep stores.
Art Van has offered televisions with many furniture purchases in recent years. The original plan was to Place a Paul's TV location inside every Art Van store. However, in 2013, Art Van removed several Paul's TV locations from under-performing stores.
Expansion into Chicago, Toledo, and Indiana
Art Van began its largest expansion in company history in 2013, opening 6 stores in 5 months. It now has a footprint in 5 store locations in the Chicagoland area (two in Chicago proper, one in the southern suburb of Orland Park, another in Merrillville, Indiana, and another in Batavia, Illinois). A sixth store is scheduled to open at the end of March, 2014 in Woodridge, Illinois, with plans to open a seventh in January 2015, in Downer's Grove. The company also operates a 183,000 square foot distribution center in Bolingbrook, Illinois, to service all of its Chicago-area stores.
During this same period, the company opened a 90,000 square foot location in Toledo, Ohio, citing it as "Art Van 3.0," containing additional design qualities that existing stores did not have. In January, 2014, another store location opened in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- "Contact Us." Art Van. Retrieved on November 7, 2013. "Art Van Furniture 6500 14 Mile Road Warren, MI 48092"
- Staff. "AV Mattress World LLC". Hoover's. Retrieved June 3, 2012. (subscription required)
- Bomey, Nathan (May 11, 2011). "Art Van Furniture acquires Mattress World in Michigan retail deal". AnnArbor.com. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- Engel, Clint (May 11, 2011). "Art Van Furniture to acquire 28-store Mattress World: Will give chain its first stores outside Michigan". Furniture Today. Retrieved June 3, 2012.