“With this deal we just inked, we are going to get all of our original Levin Furniture stores back in the family. So it’s very exciting," said Robert Levin.By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In a surprise transaction this week, Levin Furniture is taking over three Loves Furniture stores in the Pittsburgh area and two other unopened stores in Altoona and State College.

It’s part of Robert Levin’s plan to bring back to life the furniture and mattress stores he sold when he retired in 2017.

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When Levin first retired, he sold off his family stores to a company that went bankrupt. Rather than see his stores shuttered and former employees out of work, Levin stepped in last March to buy them back. But he couldn’t get all his local stores back until now.

“We were only able to get four of our seven furniture stores back in Pittsburgh,” Levin told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.

“So with this deal we just inked, we are going to get all of our original Levin Furniture stores back in the family. So it’s very exciting.”

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Loves Furniture is leaving this state, so Levin is taking back three Loves stores in Peters, North Fayette at the Point and Mt. Pleasant, a store with special meaning.

“When my grandfather opened up his second-hand store right on Main Street in the little town of Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, it was a hundred years ago this year. That’s where it all started.”

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Levin is also getting two unopened Loves stores in Altoona and State College.

At all the stores, he will swap out the Loves furniture for his own, which means one thing for customers.

“So what we will have to do is have a sale – a sale!”

While COVID has impacted turnaround in merchandise, says Levin, “Business in the home furnishings category has never been better.”

With so many stuck at home during the pandemic, says Levin, “Discretionary income is being put towards trying to make and accommodate their home-based lives more comfortable, so we’re seeing huge sales in living room furniture and mattresses.”

As for jobs at these five stores, Levin wants to hire back former employees first and then accommodate as many Loves employees as he can.

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These five stores should reopen as Levin Furniture sometime in February.