John and Matt Schult
co-CEOs, Levin Furniture, and owners, John V. Schultz Furniture
There is a famous quote that says, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts,” and when it comes to Schultz brothers, John and Matt, that is certainly the case. The third-generation owners of John V. Schultz Furniture and operators of three Ashley HomeStores in the Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, markets, these two have utilized their complementary skills and interests to steadily build the family business beyond its original single-store roots.
This year, they dramatically accelerated that growth, partnering with Robert Levin to acquire 17 former Levin locations out of the Art Van bankruptcy process. As co-CEOs of the new Levin Furniture and Mattress organization, they quickly reopened those stores, along with others since acquired, to re-establish the Levin brand in Pittsburgh and the surrounding markets, bringing back hundreds of laid-off associates and promising to honor consumer orders placed during Levin’s time under Art Van ownership.
And if the accomplishment wasn’t impressive enough for the scale and commitment it represented — rehiring associates, re-merchandising more than 17 stores, getting merchant services accounts set up from scratch and a hundred other details associated with a start-up — they did it all in the midst of the worst pandemic the country has seen in 100 years.
Some might have viewed the task as too large, the commitment too expensive or the obstacles too great. But that’s not how the Schultz brothers approach the business in which they grew up, nor is it their approach to life in general.
“John and I have always been positive and optimistic about opportunities and sometimes just dive right in without thinking about what would all the challenges be,” said Matt. “We saw the positives and realized it was a tremendous opportunity to partner with Robert to bring back Levin’s.”
John echoed his brother’s sentiments while adding, “There are times where we’re cautious, probably a little too cautious. But when we know something is right, we quickly agree and go the same way.”
In terms of responsibilities within the organization, John focuses on operations, merchandising and IT, while Matt’s focus is sales, marketing and finance, although both emphasize the mutual respect and collaboration that underpins all aspects of their working relationship.
It’s a relationship that has positioned the duo for dynamic growth in the coming years and not just for Levin.
In fact, having already figured out how to synergize an Ashley HomeStore with the existing John V. Schultz location, the brothers believe the combination of Ashley and Levin give them a powerful one-two punch to serve a dominant share of consumers in Pittsburgh and surrounding markets.
Even at this writing, they continue to explore new Levin locations in markets where the brand historically has been strong but the original locations no longer available. At a time when many might be content with preserving the status quo, John and Matt Schultz are looking ahead, focused on creating a bright and growth-filled future. And for them, that future is just getting started.