Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 35

ART VAN FURNITURE

The team at Art Van Furniture attributes
its success to three key factors: people,
processes and philanthropy.

store design and construction, and
quality products.
Art Van Furniture's more than
1.4-million-square-foot
Warren,
Mich.-based warehouse is filled with
high-quality brands, allowing its franchisees to remain competitive in the
marketplace and eliminating the need
for them to hold inventory in their
stores, Durkin notes.
The company also has one regional
operator for every eight to 10 stores,
which not only allows it to be nimble
and agile, but very hands-on. "This
is really unheard of in the industry,"
Durkin notes. "Usually it can be up
to 30 stores for one regional operator within an organization. However,
we think taking the approach of being
well invested in their business will
create a win-win strategy for us."
In addition, every franchisee receives educational training through
Art Van University, an online and

in-classroom training program. "All
of our franchisees receive a worldclass education built specifically
around sales," Durkin says. "We have
course refreshers and new team members are trained through it as well."
Classroom sessions can range between two to four weeks and are taught
in Warren or Chicago. Ultimately, the
company aims to provide the necessary support to its franchisees so that
they can focus on the customer experience and their team members.

Looking AheAd
Art Van Furniture aims to continue
the fast-paced growth of its franchising division with like-minded entrepreneurs. Within the next two years,
the company's goal for franchising as
a stand-alone business is to be one of
the top 50 furniture retailers in the
United States. "We would like our
franchising division to be seen as a

key influencer in the marketplace,"
Durkin says. "Of course, it makes Art
Van stronger as a whole, but that is
where we would like to be."
She adds that Art Van Furniture's
focus is home furnishings and that
the company is "building everything"
around the guest experience, whether it's in-store or online. "We want
to bring style and fashion and inspiration," Durkin explains. "We really
want to inspire customers to create
their dream home."
Additionally, Art Van Furniture is
redesigning its website to not only be
efficient, but also have a more unified
shopping experience between its online presence and in-store experience.
"The goal is unified commerce so that
the guest will shop anytime, anywhere
with us," Durkin concludes. "We want
to be their home retailer of choice,
no matter how they decide to engage
with us."
WINTER 2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Franchising Today - Winter 2017

Contents
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover1
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 1
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Contents
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