Thursday 14 May 2020

Army & Navy Store

Army & Navy permanently closing because of COVID-19 - NEWS 1130

Just last week I heard that a favourite store would be closing permanently due to the effects of the Corona Virus. The store is just in BC and Alberta and has served us for 101 years. I am talking about Army & Navy Store.

Just last year they celebrated 100 years in business and were looking forward to another hundred. I think that thinking was optimistic, but at least they were thinking positively. The last few times I had visited it seemed that the variety of stock had shrunk and I had the feeling that fewer people were in the store. Of course that could just be the time of day that I as a retiree I can shop and when the working people of Calgary finished work the store may have filled with lower income people. It was a store that sold low end merchandise for the most part.

You could get work clothes for a third the price that Marks charges and although they may not have been as long lasting, they were very good value for money. When I started in the Post Office we had to have black, leather, lace up shoes and Army & Navy sold exactly what I needed. The shoes were black, made of leather with laces and had a good thick, oil resistant sole that would last me two years, all for about $30 or $40. Considering that I got $150 a season for shoe allowance I found myself financially ahead for a change. In later years I picked up clothing for working in the back yard that would be warm and I didn’t care what happened to it because after a month or so it didn’t owe me anything.

The Army & Navy Store also carried the best assortment of low to mid range camping, fishing and hunting gear. I am guessing about the hunting and fishing gear, but the camping gear was pretty good. Not great you understand, but for the one or two weekend a year camper it was just fine. Again, the price point was low and the gear did the job. There was a woman that ran the sporting goods section that was possibly the most knowledgeable person in the city when it came to camping and camping needs. Most of the Scout leaders I knew would often go and ask her advice on different equipment and gear. She would steer people to a higher end store if the need and usage was beyond Army & Navy stock. They also had the best price on white gas.

Every year they would hold a shoe sale that anyone (women) that appreciated shoes would make a point of going to. From what I understand from some women in my life the varieties and styles couldn’t be beat. Louise rarely went when she didn’t return with a couple of pair.

I am going to miss the store. I won’t even get the opportunity to go to a going out of business sale due to the Corona virus. They have just let the staff go and shut the doors. I am sure that the remaining stock will be liquidated somehow but I generally hear about those sales on the six o’clock news after they are over.

The world is going to lose a lot of stores and businesses that we have taken for granted over the years and I hope that other entrepreneurs manage to fill the void in years to come. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes it's sad to see these stores closing and you're right many more will follow. The Bay comes to mind as it always seems empty at least in Nanaimo.