Art Van opens first full-line showroom in Chicago
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, July 19, 2013
Jeff Van Tuyle, left, King Koil; Art Van Elslander, Art Van Furniture, Warren, Mich.; Kurt Darrow, La-Z-Boy; and Kim Yost, Art Van Furniture at the "Motown Spectacular" party in Art Van's first Chicagoland store in Orland Park, Ill.
The Chloe sectional, part of the Style collection for Art Van by England gets prime display space near the front of the retailer's nearly 50,000-square-foot Chicago-area store in Orland Park. Style, exclusive to Art Van, offers consumers 50 fabric choices at no extra charge and three- to five-week delivery.
ORLAND PARK, Ill.— Art Van Furniture is ready to take the Windy City by storm.
Just before a party celebrating the opening of its roughly 50,000-square-foot store here--it's first full-line showroom in Chicagoland and first outside of Michigan--Founder and Chairman Art Van Elslander told Furniture/Today that it had just leased an additional 15,000-square-feet in the vacant space next door to expand the showroom.
The company had already noted that five more Chicagoland stores are coming in the next few months, but both Van Elslander and CEO Kim Yost said this is just the beginning of a major expansion plan for the retailer in Chicago and the Midwest.
Yost said Chicago has room for anywhere from 12 to 16 full-line stores, but an even earlier priority will be to begin opening some 23 of its Art Van PureSleep specialty bedding shops strategically around the first six stores over the next three years.
A 90,000-square-foot Toledo, Ohio, store is on tap for early September and after that, Art Van will have its eyes on Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio, the executives said.
But the coming days are all about Chicago. The retailer introduced a new look both inside and out at its first store, including a new, tall facade with a giant red square with a chair it has used as its logo for years. The store has seen strong consumer response during its week-long soft opening and drew some 700 industry guests, new employees, community leaders and consumers to its Motown-themed party Thursday night, said Diane Charles, director of corporate communications. The entertainment: The Temptations Review.
It's an exciting time for the Art Van team, Van Elslander said, adding, "I have no question about Chicago being a real success for us."
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