PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Robert Levin says he has reached an agreement to save his company from bankruptcy, and he says that means customers who were ripped off will get what they paid for.
Levin had reached an agreement to rescue his business earlier in March, but weeks later said the parent company of Levin Furniture and Wolf Furniture terminated the agreement to sell the businesses back to him, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, Robert Levin’s new plan to rescue his family’s former furniture business from bankruptcy is getting rave reviews from the thousands of customers who purchased furniture but never received it.
His $27 million rescue offer includes $10 million for the customers who feel they were ripped off in the bankruptcy.
For Gary and Mary Thompson, it was the worst of times when they came to the Levin store in Wexford.
They had just lost everything in a fire. So they spent $25,000 of their insurance money to furnish their new home.
But then Levin went under. Not only did they lose their home, they were out $25,000 and never got their new furniture.
When Gary and Mary headed to the Grand Canyon last November, their home back in Cranberry went up in flames.
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They lost everything.
“It’s been very trying. It has been,” says Mary.
Fortunately for the Thompsons, they had insurance. And they took some of that money to Levin, so they could furnish their new home in Zelienople.
Only problem: new Levin owner Art Van went under, closed his doors and failed to deliver furniture to about 1,000 customers — including the Thompsons.
“What happened to it? It’s almost like it all burned up again, like our house did. You know?” says Mary.
“It almost seemed like it was criminal what Art Van did, that they were able to — we paid for our furniture in full, and then they were able to keep it,” says Gary.
To make matters worse, the pandemic means they still can’t close on their new home. They’ve been staying at a hotel for seven months.
But they hope to move soon and get some furniture from Levin, a once well-established local chain that consumers trusted for decades.
“Hopefully, since Mr. Levin has stepped back in, has an opportunity, I hope, to buy back the place. He’s a great guy. He’s helped out his employees. And I think he wants to help the consumer out too,” says Gary.
The deal is expected to be approved in the next two weeks and it will allow for certain stores to reopen in Pennsylvania and Ohio.