|Former type||Discount store chain|
|Fate||Filed for bankruptcy in 2005 & 2007, chain bought on asset basis in 2008 by Genuity Capital.|
|Products||Clothing, grocery, footwear, bedding, beauty products, and housewares.|
|Parent||SAAN Stores Ltd.|
SAAN (short for Surplus Army, Air Force, Navy) had its beginnings in Winnipeg in 1947, when founders Albert and Sam Cohen opened their first store on Main Street. Surplus items from the Canadian Armed Forces (hence the store's name) were the company's first supply source until its sales grew and more SAAN stores opened. From there, the number of stores grew to over 200 in western Canada and Ontario, focusing on clothing, footwear and accessories. SAAN expanded into eastern Canada in February 1997 with the acquisition of 89 locations once owned by other retailers including Metropolitan Stores and Greenberg Stores; that same year, the chain added hard goods such as kitchen items, bed and bath items, furniture, toys, housewares, stationery and health and beauty products to their product lines.
After filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time in late 2007, SAAN announced in June 2008 that it would be closing all stores within 8–10 weeks, with a going-out-of-business sale being conducted by a joint venture group led by Great American Group LLC, which specializes in providing liquidation services. All remaining 126 stores closed within the following weeks, with some closing earlier than others.
SAAN Stores Ltd. changed ownership again after it was bought on an asset basis (including most store leases and the SAAN and Red Apple names and trademarks) by Genuity Capital (through TBS Acquireco, parent company of The Bargain! Shop) for about $15 million in August 2008 and SAAN and Red Apple locations were absorbed into the Bargain Shop chain. Eight SAAN stores (7 in Quebec and 1 in Ontario) were sold to Hart Stores, a chain in full development in eastern Canada, mainly known as "Hart" and "Bargain Giant". Several locations were also picked up by Dollarama. Locations re-opened under the Bargain Shop, Dollarama or Hart banners within several weeks.
SAAN had more than 350 stores in the late 1990s, but by May 2005, after it emerged from its initial bankruptcy protection, this was reduced to 142 outlets in a number of communities (mostly smaller towns and cities) across Canada. The chain's head office was in Mississauga, Ontario and its main distribution centre and Stores' Support Office complex were located in Winnipeg (prior to the company's sale by Gendis Inc. in 2004) with an additional distribution outlet in Montreal. SAAN also operated a small chain of clearance stores called Red Apple Clearance Centres. In mid-2012 the Bargain Shop announced plans to rebrand 35 stores as Red Apple locations.
- The Globe and Mail, "Struggling Saan seeks financing", 13 December 2007, p. B4