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Art Van supplier from Huron County left with hundreds of thousands in inventory after bankruptcy

 Local Art Van Supplier Owed Money
Local Art Van Supplier Owed Money (WJRT)
Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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(03/10/2020) -- Art Van Furniture's recent bankruptcy filing shows just how much money the storied Michigan business owed its creditors.

One of them, a furniture company in Huron County, is hurting over unpaid debts and a lot of lost business.

Columns of deliveries marked "AV" for Art Van jammed to the rafters, filling an entire barn with handcrafted L.J. Gascho merchandise that may never see a showroom floor.

"The first reaction we had was one of deep sadness," said L.J. Gascho owner Brandon Yowler. "We have a long-term partnership with Art Van. We've been with them for 30 years."

Art Van announced last week it would shutter its more than 140 corporate-owned stores ahead of a bankruptcy filing, showing tens of millions in unpaid bills. It's CEO says they're walking away with his company's hard-earned money.

"We're owed a significant amount of money from the Art Van Furniture Company," says Yowler. "We actually had about $1.5 million worth of inventory... We're going to unfortunately eat some money."

It's biggest buyer belly-up, leaving him with no choice but to cut six jobs from the factory floor.

Saddled with hundreds of thousands in inventory, much of it tailor made for special orders, Yowler has a message for anyone who may have been left in the lurch.

"We want to do what's right," he said. "We're a family owned company and we're doing this because of the customer support we've had for over 30 years. We want to work with customers to offer the product at a value to them."

Hoping to make up for lost ground, he's reaching out to new potential buyers and aims to bring those jobs back as soon as the company lands on its feet.

In terms of that deal, anyone expecting an order from Art Van made by L.J. Gascho should reach out to the factory. They will sell it at wholesale prices, which may be cheaper even with the lost deposit.

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