Coronavirus: 101-year-old Canadian discount retailer, Army and Navy, to close permanently

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A 101-year-old retail icon in British Columbia and Alberta is closing because of financial pressures from COVID-19.

Army & Navy closed its department stores “temporarily” in March due to the pandemic.

But in a statement on Saturday, chief executive officer Jacqui Cohen said that if the company hoped to reopen, “the economic challenges of COVID-19 have turned out to be insurmountable.”

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“I am very grateful for our staff and their years of service, our suppliers with whom we have built relationships for decades, and of course our loyal customers who were at the heart of our business,” said Cohen.

“It is difficult to understand. At the same time last year, we were celebrating the centenary of the military and the navy – a business my grandfather started in 1919 – and we looked forward to the years to come. We are now closing a business that was at the heart of eight Western Canadian communities during its 101 years. “

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Cohen said she would spend the next few weeks making sure the company’s staff “have our support.”

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Army & Navy was founded in 1919 by Samuel Cohen, who turned a thriving post-war military surplus trade into a chain of department stores.

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The company currently has branches in Vancouver, where its flagship store is located, East Hastings Street, New Westminster, Langley, Calgary and Edmonton.

In addition to its low prices, Army & Navy is particularly known for its annual shoe sales, which have historically established long queues.

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