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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Upper Clearwater naturalist helps name national lichen

The votes are in for Canada’s proposed national lichen and the Star-tipped… Continue reading

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

38 ladies had plenty of room to social distance

A couple of years ago hubby and I purchased 600 (yes, 600)… Continue reading

Invasive Mussel Defence program launches in B.C.

Boat inspection stations are now open at various locations throughout the province… Continue reading

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all Canadians, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Most Read