Army & Navy department stores to shut its doors forever due to COVID-19 challenges

Iconic department store is one of five locations in Canada that announced permanent closure Saturday

Army & Navy, billed as “Canada’s original discount department store” will be permanently shutting its doors, citing bankruptcy due to COVID-19 closures.

The company, which sold an array of different products from clothing to camping gear, had been in business for 101 years.

In March, the company was forced to temporarily layoff staff and close all five store locations – Langley, Vancouver, New Westminster, Edmonton, and Calgary.

Today, 83 staff from its Vancouver and New Westminster locations have been notified of their permanent termination, according to union representatives.

Samuel “Sam” Cohen opened his first storefront on Hastings Street in Vancouver in 1919.

From there he grew it into Canada’s first discount department store chain with nine stores and a mail order business in Western Canada.

In 1998 Sam’s granddaughter, Jacqui Cohen, took the reins of the company and would be the one to officially make the closure announcement on Saturday, May 9.

“In March, we were forced to shutter all five of our stores and temporarily layoff our staff. We had hoped to re-open but the economic challenges of COVID-19 have proven insurmountable,” Cohen said.

“I am full of gratitude for our staff and their years of service, our suppliers with whom we forged decades-long relationships, and of course our loyal customers who were at the heart of our business,” she continued.

The Langley department store could not be reached for comment.

“I am proud of Army & Navy’s history and our contribution to the Canadian landscape,” Cohen added.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Quesnel Business Support Team is seeking feedback from local business community

‘What is the biggest challenge facing your business today?’

WildSafeBC hires new co-ordinator for Cariboo region

Mareike Moore said the main message is keeping wildlife wild, communities safe

CITY HALL: Investing in our transition strategy

City council news from Mayor Bob Simpson

Family bond strengthened through mask-making

A B.C. Indigenous youth is making face masks for firefighters after having made some for family

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

RCMP, coroner investigate ‘unexpected deaths’ on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Most Read