Art Van

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Art Van Furniture Inc.
Industry Furniture retail
Founded Eastpointe, Michigan (1959)
Headquarters Warren, Michigan, U.S.
Key people
Art Van Elslander, Founder; Kim Yost, CEO; Gary Van, President; David Van, President Pure Sleep
Products Furniture
Revenue US$700 Million (2014 est.)
Number of employees
Art Van Furniture store, Ann Arbor, MI, one of the 30 Michigan stores

Art Van Furniture Inc. is an American furniture retail store chain. The company operates 39 stores throughout Michigan, eight stores in the Chicago area, one store in Toledo, Ohio, one store in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a full service e-commerce website, plus several freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. The company also has eleven franchised stores in the Midwest. When added together, the company has more than 100 brick and mortar locations. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan in Metro Detroit,.[1]

Company History[edit]

Art Van Elslander’s furniture business began 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 8 stores in the Chicago area. 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 Flooring. 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.[2] The Onaway store was closed in 2013.[3] That same year, Young's Appliance of Alpena became the chain's first franchised location.[4] Franchise locations have since opened in Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, Mount Pleasant,[5] Gaylord, Owosso, and East Tawas, along with a PureSleep franchise in Midland and a franchise of Sofa Select in Mishawaka, Indiana.[6] The store's first franchise location in Illinois opened on November 7, 2015, in Rockford.[7]

Mattress World Acquisition[edit]

Mattress World store, Livonia, Michigan

Mattress World of Michigan was a mattress retailer with 24 stores in Michigan and seven in Indiana. The company was founded in 1998 when the first store was opened in Howell, Michigan.[8]

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.[9][10]

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.

Paul's TV[edit]

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. In early 2015, the decision was made to remove the Paul's TV brand from all of its showrooms, and Art Van effectively ended its partnership with the Paul's TV Brand.

Expansion into Chicago, Toledo, and Indiana[edit]

Art Van began its largest expansion in company history in 2013, opening 6 stores in 5 months. It now has a footprint in 8 store locations, two in Chicago proper, one in the southern suburb of Orland Park, another in Merrillville, Indiana, another in Batavia, Illinois. A sixth store opened at the end of March, 2014 in Woodridge, Illinois. Illinois' first freestanding Pure Sleep location opened in Burbank in early 2015. Two more Art Van stores opened in the summer of 2015 - one in Naperville, and the largest single store in company history in Downers Grove. The Downers Grove store not only serves as the Chicago flagship, but also the corporate flagship, deemed Art Van 4.0.

Art Van continued its franchise expansion into Rockford, Illinois in the Fall of 2015, converting a 93 year old family business, Ingrassia Furniture, to its 11th franchise location.[11]

Plans for growth include Glendale Heights and Algonquin in March 2016, and Schaumburg sometime in late 2016.

The company also operates a 183,000 square foot distribution center in Bolingbrook, Illinois, to service all of its Chicago-area stores.

In summer 2013, Art Van 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.


External links[edit]