PITTSBURGH - Three years after it was sold to Art Van Furniture, Pittsburgh-based Levin Furniture and Mattress is back in action.
Robert Levin announced his intention to reacquire his company in March of this year - right around the time Art Van filed for bankruptcy and prepared for liquidation. Levin has been successful, announcing July 3 that 17 of the 33 stores it sold to Art Van will reopen this week.
"Finally, we're back!," Levin said in a statement. "We are excited to bring back a century of high standards and caring for the communities we serve."
Levin's grandparents started the company in 1920. It remained under family ownership until the 2017 acquisition. The company ranked 39 on Furniture Today's Top 100 list at the time of the purchase.
Nine of the reopening 17 stores are in Pittsburgh, with the other eight in Cleveland. Levin will serve as chairman for the returning company. John and Matt Schultz of John V. Schultz Furniture will act as co-CEOs. 375 former associates have already been hired back.
Levin announced it would service all customers who lost money on a purchase under Art Van ownership. Many of the customers who made deposits on furniture in the months surrounding Art Van's bankruptcy never received refunds or saw their furniture.
60-second TV ads are already rolling out. Robert Levin is seen in the ads telling the company's story, promising refunds, and assuring customers they will receive their orders.
The news of Levin Furniture's revival seems out of place, as many other furniture retailers have taken big hits as of late.
Art Van was one of the Midwest's biggest furniture retailers before it closed, operating 141 stores. Its closure was abrupt and 3,100 employees were laid off.
In March, fellow furniture retailer Pier 1 Imports also filed for bankruptcy. The company said it would close 450 locations, including all stores in Canada and two distribution centers. Online retailer Wayfair has suffered heavy losses, reporting a near billion dollar loss for 2019. JCPenney has filed for bankruptcy.
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