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Wendels Home & Design new Art Van franchisee

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Wendels Home & Design here is set to become Art Van Furniture's second franchised store.
     The central Michigan retailer will carry the Top 100 company's full furniture line in its 40,000-square-foot showroom on East Pickard Street, while maintaining some of its existing high-end furniture in a Wendels Home & Design Studio within the store, according to a release.
     Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wendels, owned by David Lee and his wife, Lisa Lee, is in the midst of remodeling for the switch, according to Warren, Mich.-based Art Van. The name change is set for Jan. 1.
     The store will feature Art Van's PureSleep bedding department and clearance center. The retailer also has the option of later adding other Art Van departments, World of Floors and Paul's TV.
     "What a proud and exciting moment this is for our company," David Lee, president, said in the release. "Our companies are both family owned and share the same passion for personalized service, superior selection and unwavering community commitment. This is a natural fit in every way."
     Lee wouldn't disclose sales projection as an Art Van franchise but said the company does expect an increase from its current average annual sales of about $3.5 million.
     The 40-year-old Wendels, founded by Lee's father, Wendel Lee, plans to add at least a dozen new jobs with the change.
     Art Van founder and Chairman Art Van Elslander said his company is "delighted to be partnering with Wendels Home & Design. They have earned a stellar reputation and we look forward to introducing fashionable furniture lines to their loyal client base."
     In August, Art Van announced that Young Appliance in Alpena, Mich., would become its first franchisee following a remodeling period.

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