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REFLECTING SALES INCREASES AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE, ART VAN PLANS NEW STORES, MAJOR EXPANSION, CREATING 400 NEW JOBS IN MICHIGAN

 REFLECTING SALES INCREASES AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE, ART VAN PLANS
 NEW STORES, MAJOR EXPANSION, CREATING 400 NEW JOBS IN MICHIGAN
 WARREN, Mich., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Reflecting consumer confidence in the company, Art Van furniture, Michigan's largest furniture retailer, today announced plans to open four new stores and eight new clearance centers, including the expansion of four of its present facilities.
 The announcement came at a news conference attended by Michigan Gov. John Engler on the site of one of the proposed new stores in Shelby Township, Mich.
 The governor praised Art Van for its commitment to Michigan and expressed his gratitude for the company's efforts in creating new jobs in the state.
 In addition, Art Van will add 250,000 square feet to its present 400,000-square-foot distribution facility in Warren.
 The total construction program will create about 400 new jobs in Michigan while adding 450,000 square feet to the company's total of 1,353,000 square feet.
 "I can't remember a more exciting time in our company," said Art VanElslander, company chairman and chief executive officer. "Obviously, we are delighted by the confidence the Michigan consumer has placed in our company, leading to this major expansion.
 "We would like to believe that this customer loyalty reflects the confidence consumers have in the quality of our merchandise and our service," he said.
 "While many retailers throughout the nation are reporting soft sales," he said, "we are doing extremely well."
 The company announced plans to open the following new stores:
 -- A 60,000-square-foot facility, the company's largest showroom yet, across from the Lakeside Shopping Center in Shelby Township in the so-called "Golden Corridor," Michigan's fastest-growing population area. This store is scheduled to open in September.
 -- A 60,000-square-foot store at Eisenhower and State streets, across from the Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor. This store, which will include a 10,000-square-foot clearance center, is scheduled for completion in early 1993.
 -- A 26,000-square-foot store in Jackson, the seventh-largest retail sales market in Michigan. This store at North West Avenue and Argyle Street includes a 5,000-square-foot clearance center and will be completed in June.
 -- A 41,000-square-foot store, with a 6,000-square-foot clearance center, in downtown Port Huron. Completion is scheduled for September.
 Expansion plans and creation of new clearance centers are planned for:
 -- The Middle Belt-Seven Mile store in Livonia will be expanded from 42,000 square feet to 48,000 square feet to include a 6,000-square-foot clearance center. Completion is scheduled for June.
 -- The store in Kalamazoo, Michigan's sixth-largest retail sales market, across from the Crossroads Mall, will be remodeled to include a 10,000-square-foot clearance center. Completion is scheduled for April.
 -- The Lansing store at Pennsylvania and Miller will be expanded from 44,700 feet to 50,700 square feet with the addition of a 6,000- square-foot clearance center. Completion is scheduled for June.
 -- The store in Saginaw, Michigan's fifth-largest retail sales market, across from the Fashion Square Mall, will be expanded with an 11,000-square-foot clearance center. The entire store also will be remodeled with completion scheduled for July.
 -- The Drayton Plains store at Dixie Highway near Walton will be expanded by 24,000 square feet with the addition of a clearance center. Completion is scheduled for May.
 When the expansion program is completed, Art Van will operate 20 stores and 13 clearance centers with a work force of 1,600 in Michigan.
 Art Van Furniture, with headquarters in Warren, is Michigan's largest furniture retailer and 10th-largest furniture retailer in the U.S. REMARKS BY GOV. JOHN ENGLER AT ART VAN NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY, APRIL 2
 Thank you, Art.
 On behalf of the hard-working people of our state, I want to congratulate you and the entire Art Van organization for believing in Michigan and investing in our future.
 With the announcement of this tremendous expansion, Art Van Furniture has demonstrated its strong belief in the skill, the values and the dedication of the working people of our state.
 You know the furniture business better than anybody. That's why you're the largest, family-owned chain in the country.
 And we're proud and happy that you have chosen to expand right here at home.
 We want you to keep on expanding.
 My goal is to make Michigan the best state in the nation for companies like Art Van to do business.
 I'm going to fight hard to encourage more companies to create jobs and invest in Michigan's future like you have.
 We're going to cut taxes.
 We're going to improve our schools.
 And we're going to rebuild Michigan roads and highways.
 And I believe today's announcement is just one more indicator that Michigan is on the road to economic recovery.
 I know that the entire state was thrilled last week, when it was announced that the Silverdome would host several games of the World Cup Soccer Championship.
 That's why I am confident that the word is spreading around the world that Michigan is open for business and ready to grow.
 Somebody once said that life has no obstacles, only challenges.
 Art VanElslander has always met the challenge, and with Art Van and more job providers like it, Michigan is ready to meet the challenge as well.
 Thank you again, and congratulations.
 -0- 4/2/92
 /CONTACT: Cathy DiSante of Art Van Furniture, 313-939-0800; or Berl Falbaum of Falbaum & Associates, 313-262-1750, for Art Van/ CO: Art Van Furniture ST: Michigan IN: REA SU:


KK -- DE008 -- 4292 04/02/92 10:48 EST
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Date:Apr 2, 1992
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