While the well-known Rothman name is going away, customers can expect Art Van Furniture stores to open in current Rothman locations.
While Art Van is not a household name in St. Louis, the company is well-known throughout the Midwest, with stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa.
Jay Steinback, the president and CEO of Rothman, will be the franchise owner in St. Louis. Steinback said he needed to reinvent Rothman and wanted it to be bigger and better to compete in a tough market.
"We kind of saw there was one on every little street corner--a mom and pops--that's where you went to buy Cohen's electronics appliances and everybody went there and as Circuit City and Best Buy rolled through town, it just shrunk that opportunity market where it's really, really hard to grow," Steinback said.
Art Van will carry different furniture brands than Rothman, including the popular collection that carries TV home improvement star Joanna Gaines’ name.
"And so Art Van brand is very much like the Rothman brand, so it's that perfect marriage from that brand and cultural perspective, and while we may not be known immediately, I assure you we will be known very quickly," said Keri Durkin, Art Van vice president of franchises.
The Rothman home store on Magnolia will be converted to an Art Van studio by mid-December. The other Rothman stores in Affton, Bridgeton, O’Fallon, Missouri, and Fairveiw Heights, Illinois will be renovated and converted to Art Van stores by February. Additional locations may also be opened in 2018.