SMITHTON, Pa. — Art Van is acquiring the 33-store Levin Furniture here in a deal that marries two Top 100 companies while maintaining Levin as its own brand.
That’s according to a memo obtained by Furniture Today that Levin CEO Robert Levin sent to all employees today. The retailer, with full-line furniture stores and Levin Mattress stores in greater Pittsburgh, Pa., and Cleveland, Ohio, will be a separate division of the more than 120-store Warren, Mich.-based Art Van and will maintain its Smithton, Pa., headquarters, Levin said.
“Our senior management team will be responsible for running Levin’s, and the new owners will be keeping all of our stores, all of our people, and will be signing a 15-year lease on our Smithton warehouse,” he said in the memo.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Levin declined to comment on the memo. An Art Van spokesperson also declined comment.
Art Van is No. 18 on Furniture Today’s most recent Top 100 report with estimated 2016 furniture, bedding and accessory sales of $740 million at then 117 stores in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa. The deal with Levin should push the retailer near or across the $1 billion sales marks as Levin is No. 39 on the ranking with estimated sales of $218.3 million last year at 32 stores.
In the memos, Levin noted how similar Art Van is to Levin. “They have grown their business through the same model as ours — with a combination of freestanding mattress and full line furniture stores,” he said. He also noted Art Van’s acquisition early this year by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.
“They conducted extensive research that showed that Levin is one of the strongest furniture and mattress brands in the county, and because of that they are totally committed to Levin’s and to our growth.
Levin opened the memo saying he’s spend a lot of time in recent years thinking about the future of the company, the best ways to strengthen and protect it, and considering “What would happen to Levin’s if something happened to me?”
“When I turned 60 last year, I realized that I needed a plan that would help secure the future of Levin,” he said, adding that why “I decided to sell our company to the Art Van Furniture Co.
He said later all Levin’s benefits will be maintained or improved. “We anticipate continued job growth and new opportunities for our associates,” he said.
While Levin didn’t disclose terms, he did say all Levin employees who have been with the company of a year or more will receive a share of the sale proceeds and that he will be making a special contribution to the company profit sharing plan, too.
He also said the new owners are committed to Levin’s communities and realize “our charitable outreach is a key part of what makes Levin’s a special place to work. Art Van also have committed to continuing the retailer’s sport teams sponsorships through 2020, when the retailer celebrates its 100th anniversary, he said.
“I have one overriding thought as I consider the next phase of this great company,” he said. “The strength of Levin’s has always been its people, the hard work and dedication you have shown to our customers and the care you have shown to each other. It’s truly a wonderful legacy, and I’m so proud of you all,” he said.