Army & Navy Department Stores Closed After 101 Years Now a Homeless Shelter
A 101-year-old retail icon in B.C. and Alberta is closing due to financial pressures from COVID-19.
Army & Navy closed its department stores “temporarily” in March due to the pandemic.
But in a statement Saturday, president and CEO Jacqui Cohen said while the company had hoped to reopen, “the economic challenges of COVID-19 have proven insurmountable.”
“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,” said Cohen.
“It is hard to comprehend. This time last year we were celebrating the centenary of Army & Navy — a company my grandfather started in 1919 — and we were looking forward to the years ahead. Now we are closing a company that was at the heart of eight communities in western Canada over its 101 years.”
Army & Navy was founded in 1919 by Samuel Cohen, who parlayed a thriving trade in post-war military surplus into a discount department store chain.
The company currently has locations in Vancouver, the home of its flagship East Hastings Street store, New Westminster, Langley, Calgary and Edmonton.
Along with its low prices, Army & Navy is particularly known for its annual shoe sales, which have historically drawn long lineups.