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Target lobbies against tax proposal

BY CSA STAFF

Although it’s only one of many tax proposals being floating around, the so-called border adjustment tax has raised a red flag among many retailers.

The CEO of Target Corp., Brian Cornell, recently visited Washington to lobby against the House Republican proposal, according to Fortune, which noted the visit was first reported by Politico.

The National Retail Federation has been outspoken about the impact of the border tax, with CEO Matt Shay saying it could be potentially disastrous," Fortune reported. The NRF expects apparel prices would immediately rise 15% on the first day of such a tax.

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Off-pricer expanding

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom Rack is bullish on Chicago.

The retailer announced plans to open a store at Mellody Farm in Vernon Hills, Ill. The property, which is being developed by Regency Centers, is located 30 miles north of downtown Chicago.

The approximately 30,000-sq.-ft. store, scheduled to open in fall 2018, will be the 15th Rack store in Chicagoland following the announcement of new locations in Kildeer, Ill., and Schererville, Ind., which are opening this spring.

The company also operates four full-line Nordstrom stores in the greater Chicago area, including its downtown flagship on Michigan Avenue.

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Founder sells Art Van Furniture to private equity firm

BY Marianne Wilson

The owner of one of the largest independent furniture chains in the country has sold his company to a private equity firm approximately 58 years after he founded it.

Art Van Furniture announced an agreement has been reached to sell the company to Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Art Van Elsander, chairman and founder of Art Van Furniture and its sole shareholder prior to the sale, opened his first store in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan. The company currently operates 100 stores in five states under several banners, a successful franchising program and has more than 3,500 employees.

"I am proud of Art Van Furniture's history and what we have accomplished,” said Elslander. “The time for an ownership transition is right and the opportunity presented itself. There is still much I want to do, and I feel confident knowing the company and its people will be in the very best of hands for continued growth and success.”

The terms of the transaction were not released.

Art Van Furniture said its current executive team, led by CEO Kim Yost, will work closely with THL to continue to enhance organizational growth and the brand's plans for the future. Gary Van Elslander will remain as president of Art Van Furniture, and David Van Elslander as president of Art Van PureSleep.

"After thoughtful consideration and strategic evaluation, we determined that Thomas H. Lee Partners is absolutely the right ownership partner for Art Van," said Yost. "We are collectively committed to building on Mr. Van's tremendous legacy as we enter this new chapter of the Art Van Furniture story."

Founded in 1974, THL has invested in companies such as 1-800 Contacts, Bargain Hunt Superstores, Dunkin' Brands, Fogo de Chao, and Party City.

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