MARQUETTE - Art Van Furniture is open for business.
The furniture giant is located at 2873 U.S. 41 West at the site of the former American TV and Appliance.
Preparations to open the store have been ongoing for a while now, said Steven Anderson, co-owner of Art Van along with Jeff Palomaki.
Visual merchandisers Eric Bauer and Megan Hudson ready the Art Van Furniture store for its opening today. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)
"This has been over five weeks of work now, but we're finally getting ready to open our doors," Anderson said.
Anderson and Palomaki were owners of Household Appliance, also located on U.S. 41 West.
"From there we saw an opportunity that this town needed an appliance store," Anderson said.
Anderson said he and Palomaki took over the Household Appliance store on Third Street from their fathers in 2000, eventually moving the business to U.S. 41 where they expanded into bedding and Amish furniture.
Art Van, based in downstate Warren, called in 2012 to inquire about them being franchisees, Anderson said. They then bought the American building. The Household Appliance store closed Wednesday.
"Art Van is the biggest leader in furniture with the lowest prices and like Household Appliance, we have the customer service to back up everything," Anderson said.
Their new store, which has 38 employees, contains a variety of furniture collections, including contemporary, casual, rustic, classic and traditional, he said.
"You walk in, and there's a wide selection," said Mike Billiet, director of franchise operations for Art Van.
The store also has a PureSleep section with mattresses and a clearance center.
Anderson said the store, which has a 45,000-square-foot furniture showroom, offers merchandise for people in their starter homes to older folks wanting to buy their last set of furniture.
He said Art Van offers financing and a rent-to-own programs. Customers can pick up their purchases at the store or have them delivered. Repair service also is available.
Service doesn't end when the customer leaves the store. Cleaning kits are given to new owners as well, and empty bottles can be returned to the store for free refills, Anderson said.
Although Art Van features furniture, it has accessories too, such as lamps, vases, trees and signs.
"If you look around, there are unique accessories that for home decor you won't find anywhere else," said Anderson, pointing out a particular floor lamp that resembles a telescope.
Store hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.