O'FALLON, MO - While the paint is still drying, and the furniture put into place, it`s an around the clock push to get ready for the weekend opening of St. Louis` newest furniture stores.
“Everything is new,” says Jay Steinback, President & CEO Art Van St. Louis. “We have torn the store apart from front to back. All the flooring is new, the walls have been redone. Every scrap of paint, every stick of furniture.”
The locations might be familiar in Bridgeton, O`Fallon, Illinois, Affton and O`Fallon, Missouri.
That`s because the Rothman name and furniture line is going away, making way for the Art Van St. Louis stores to open across the region.
“To me it`s about 18 months of worth of work to get to where we are today,” says Steinback. “It`s just shocking to see this all coming to fruition. It started with we need to be better and we need to grow, how do we grow and shut down this business.”
Jay Steinback`s grandfather started the Rothman brand, his father ran it, and for Steinback, a third-generation furniture businessman, he`s putting his plans in place to grow and remain relevant in an ever-changing world.
“So, markets change and demographics change and people`s buying habits change,” says Steinback. “I think if you really look at what the consumer wants is they want stock and a filled building and they want things on demand. Rothman`s by its own was about a 50-million-dollar company. Art Van as a partner, we`re now over a billion-dollar company.”
Access to a bigger inventory of furnishings and the ability to have that to a consumer`s home in 48 to 72 hours is what Steinback says will set his stores apart.
“The same way everyone was excited about Ikea, this is a bigger deal. Ikea was an amazing company but for a very urban market. St. Louis is a very suburban market. Art Van is not just urban but also suburban which is what St. Louis is and it`s just amazing for the consumer because this is not something I could have done on my own without a partnership like this.”
Walking through the doors of the 40-thousand square foot O`Fallon, Missouri location of the new Art Van furniture store, you can`t help but notice the first thing - that new furniture smell.