WARREN, Mich. — Loves Furniture has brought in furniture industry veteran Mack Peters as its new CEO, replacing Matt Damiani, who has resigned to pursue other opportunities, as part of strategic realignment that will involve slowing its planned growth and concentrating on its core Michigan market.
“This has been a year unlike any other,” Peters told Furniture Today. “We’ve had to make some adjustments because of a lack of goods coming through the supply chain. What we’re doing is going back and trying to slow the growth and concentrate on our footprint in the Michigan market.”
Peters, a former retailer who was most recently a sales representative with Nice Link, indicated the company will close its Pennsylvania stores in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area including those in State College, Altoona, Mount Pleasant, Pittsburgh and McMurray. Those stores will be taken back by, what Peters called, “a local retailer,” who will interview and likely retain many if not all employees of those stores.
Furniture Today has confirmed that Levin Furniture is the area retailer picking up the locations with State College and Altoona, representing new markets for Levin. Those locations were previously Wolf Furniture locations; another retailer acquired by Art Van. Co-CEOs John and Matt Schultz confirmed they would be speaking with employees of those locations opening the potential for many, if not all, to be retained.
In addition to the Pennsylvania locations, Loves will also close two Michigan locations in Westland and Ann Arbor. Those will be picked up by an undisclosed “regional retailer,” who currently operates in the region.
The realignment will leave Loves with 24 to 25 remaining stores, and Peters indicated that those will be subject to further evaluation. The moves come as the retailer, like many across the country, has struggled to get sufficient inventory to fill stores in the wake of the pandemic and massive global supply issues.
“The furniture business is oversold about 180%,” Peters noted. “Where you might typically get goods in 60 days, now it’s six months. If you can get goods and you have stores that are 10 miles apart, it’s better to consolidate. First and foremost, we want to make sure we’re taking care and serving our customer.”
Peters indicated that orders placed at the closing stores will either be fulfilled, or where that’s not possible, money refunded. “We’re not leaving anyone hanging,” he said.