Did they get 60% Off and No Payments until July? Art Van Furniture stores have been sold to a private firm. Will the Southwest Michigan stores be affected?

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Art Van Elslander opened his first store in 1959 on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. He has been the sole shareholder of Art Van Furniture until now.

When most people think of Michigan businesses, they think cars or cereal, or perhaps chemicals and craft beer. Art Van nurtured his furniture retail business (at wholesale prices) to an empire if more than 100 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, including freestanding PureSleep mattress stores. The entire franchise has been sold to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee (THL). THL calls them selves one of the world's oldest and most experienced private equity firms, with a mission "to build great companies of lasting value and generate superior investment returns."

Will the Michigan to multinational ownership change hurt our state?

Thomas H. Lee Partners' marketing person says the company "is absolutely the right ownership partner for Art Van. We are collectively committed to building on Mr. Van’s tremendous legacy as we enter this new chapter of the Art Van Furniture story."

Let's hope the company holds true to the growth model and doesn't begin closing stores like so many others recently. Because, without Art Van, where are you going to get that "once-in-a-lifetime, after-President's Day, no money down, we'll pay your taxes, 130% off, one hour one day only sale?"

Bonus Video: Demolition of Kalamazoo Gazette Building

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