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Art Van Furniture to open store in Toledo, Ohio, next year

WARREN, Mich. — Art Van Furniture has purchased a former theater in Toledo, Ohio, for its first expansion of the ARt Van brand outside its home state of Michigan.

Diane Charles, the Top 100 store's director of corporate communications, said the Ohio store could open on the 14-acre former Super Cinema site next spring. The 10-screen theater complex has been closed since 2008, and Art Van would like to put a 90,000-square-foot store on the site.

The only other stores the company currently has outside Michigan are the several mattress stores in the Indianapolis market operated by Mattress World, the 28-store Howell, Mich.-based retailer that Art Van acquired about a year ago.

According to the Toledo Blade, the retailer has been looking for sites within a 250-mile radius of its headquarters in suburban Detroit, and Charles confirmed that the company also is exploring sites in Chicago and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. Art Van has operated in Michigan for 53 years.

As for Toledo, "It just makes sense because the demographics were there and we already have media coverage," Charles said, adding that the location is 75 miles, or an hour and 10 minutes, from its warehouse facility in Warren. The company already makes deliveries to customers in the Toledo area.

The Blade quoted industry analyst Jerry Epperson as saying that, with $470 million in 2011 sales, Art Van dominates Michigan, and is one of the best run retail operations in the industry. He said the company's warehouse is visited by others in the industry who come to see its cutting edge operations.

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