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

Police asking for help to find 11-year-old last seen in Surrey

Shauntae Joseph has been reported missing two other times since October 2019

What June 1 will look like at Surrey schools

High school students following a ‘tutorial model’ where they sign up through a set schedule of times

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Influx of cross-border visitors to Peace Arch Park sparks concern COVID-19 could spike

Police, parks officials say patrols, education and signage have all been increased

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen Monday with new COVID-19 safety measures: spokesperson

June 1 reopening to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

Most Read