VANCOUVER – The family military and navy say they have been victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and that they will permanently close their department stores after 101 years of business in Western Canada.
Jacqui Cohen, president and CEO of the military and navy, says the economic challenges of COVID-19 have become insurmountable.
She said the company closed its five stores and laid off its staff last March, hoping the closings would be temporary, but the economic impact of the pandemic is beyond what was expected.
Cohen says his grandfather, Samuel Cohen, opened his first army and navy on Hastings Street in Vancouver in 1919, mainly selling surplus military supplies, hence the name of the store.
She says the store has become the first chain of discount stores in Canada and that, when it closed, there were stores in New Westminster, Langley, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Cohen says the army and navy have followed his grandfather’s motto over the years: “Buy cheap, sell cheap. Pass the transaction to the customer. “
“The retail industry has changed significantly over this period,” said Cohen’s statement. “The Army and Navy have stood alongside Canadians for the ups and downs of the country, but the economic impact of this global pandemic exceeds anything we have known.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press