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Art Van closes stores, starts liquidation sales Friday

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Nicholas Eckhart|https://flic.kr/p/GShzEy
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Art Van Furniture is going out of business. A spokesperson says the Michigan-based company will close all of its stores and start liquidating its inventory Friday.

The announcement comes three years after the Van Elslander  family sold the company to a private equity firm.

Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Dustin Walsh says Art Van couldn’t keep up with internet competitors.

“You can find, you know, all kinds of furniture online today from Wayfair, from ordering a Casper mattress online. All of these different avenues came into play here and really hurt the company as they were taking on a lot of debt.”

Founder Art Van Elslander [ELZ-lander] opened his first store in 1959 on Gratiot Avenue in East Detroit, which is now Eastpointe. The company grew into the largest furniture and mattress retailer in the Midwest with stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

According to its website, Art Van nearly went bankrupt in the 1960s, but its first “tent sale” saved the company.