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

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

Case of missing Vancouver Island woman inspires new true crime podcast

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of Nanaimo’s Lisa Marie Young

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Most Read