Deal to save Levin Furniture stores, employees is off

PITTSBURGH — Just over two weeks after the former owner of Levin Furniture stores announced a plan to buy back the stores and save them from bankruptcy, the deal is off.

WPXI-TV has learned employees of Levin Furniture stores in the Pittsburgh-area received an email Friday saying the deal was no longer happening.

That deal, which was announced on March 5, involved Robert Levin acquiring Levin Furniture and Wolf Furniture locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio through a court restructuring of parent company Art Van Furniture. Robert Levin celebrated the agreement with workers.

Art Van Company was shutting down and starting liquidation sales at its stores in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio.

“Two weeks ago, I joyously announced that I had agreed to buy back Levin Furniture and the Pennsylvania Wolf stores out of bankruptcy. Today, I have learned that the parent company of Levin’s and Wolf is unwilling to sell to me on the terms of our letter of intent. This is horrible,” Levin said in a release.

Levin Furniture was founded in 1920 in Mount Pleasant by Robert Levin’s grandparents.

This is a developing story and WPXI-TV is working to learn what this will mean for the stores and employees in our area.

The parent company, Art Van, reported major losses in their business because of the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory store closures.

Levin is now looking at what actions he can take, including starting a fund that would give grants and loans to Levin employees to help with healthcare costs.

He’s also looking at how he can bring his portion of the company back into business, according to a release.