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Local Levin stores not part of new company

NILES — Closed Levin Furniture stores in Niles and in Boardman will not reopen under a new version of the company, but a top Levin executive hints the brand may not be gone from the Mahoning Valley.

Co-CEO of the new Levin Furniture, Matt Schultz, said an announcement with information on another Levin-affiliated store or stores in the Mahoning Valley could happen as soon as today.

He could not provide specific details Monday.

The two Mahoning Valley stores, plus a third in Hermitage, Pa., are not among 17 furniture and mattress stores in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas that reopened Thursday.

Those stores were part of a deal in bankruptcy court that had former Levin owner, Robert Levin, pay nearly $26 million for the assets and inventory to rescue the retailer from insolvency. The transaction allowed for the new Levin Furniture led by Levin as board chairman and co-CEOs, Schultz and his brother, John, who operate Ashley Homestore with a store in Boardman.

The deals also contains millions for customers of Ohio and Pennsylvania stores who lost out when owner Art Van Furniture LLC filed bankruptcy and closed in March.

Customers who made deposits with the previous owner and did not receive a refund from their credit card or finance company have been identified and will receive a letter this week or next with a resolution form to return. A credit is also available to these customers.

Levin Furniture will honor deposits paid in cash or check and fulfill the order for customers who choose to keep the order. Plus those customers will receive a 20 percent bonus to use on additional furniture within one year.

For those customers who used cash or check, but already bought new furniture elsewhere, there is a fund with the bankruptcy court that will allow their deposit to be reimbursed.

Levin previously reached an agreement with Art Van to buy back the company, but that deal fell apart when the company, citing the viral outbreak, closed its doors and terminated its employees.

Art Van attempted to restructure its debts under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but converted to Chapter 7 liquidation in April under stress of stay-at-home orders and the closure of non-essential businesses. Art Van bought Levin Furniture in 2017. The next year, Levin Furniture took over Goldsteins Furniture stores in Niles, Boardman and Hermitage, Pa.

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