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SAAN is a department store chain with 233 stores across Canada. I happen to work at a SAAN store, though I won't say which one. The store is very disorganized and my poor manager is having things dumped on her from two years back. When I began, I received no training, but was put on 'the floor' to work because they were so very short of staff. I was put on work crew after a while, which blew chunks (mostly because of Gwendel* is a controlling bitch who treated me with no respect). I am in a crappy time in this particular store. However, SAAN is a success story. I was really surprised to learn about it (what a geek) when I began to work there. 233 stores? I thought maybe one, or a dozen... And it's kindof (but not really) a cool story. "The SAAN Story" was printed recently as a promotion; the book was given away with every purchase over $100. This is just a bit of it, from my own knowledge, with some brushing up from their official website (where you can get a longer version, or get the book from SAAN!).

SAAN Today

SAAN Stores Ltd. is celebrating it’s 55th year in existence as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gendis, Inc., a Canadian Company. They sell things you need (like clothes and shoes and Hot Wheels) at great prices.

The Evolution of SAAN

In 1947, after the war had ended, there was a shortage of consumer merchandise (clothes, shoes, Hot Wheels). But wait: the Canadian and American armed forces had just been to war and back… Yes! Look here, in these warehouses! Clothes! Shoes! And yes, Hot Wheels! Well, the Hot Wheels and Wonderbras and other things didn’t come until much later.

It was a good thing that brothers Sam and Albert Cohen realized that this need was there. In September of 1947, on Winnipeg’s Main Street, the brothers opened their first war surplus store. They named it SAAN (Surplus Army, Airforce, Navy) after the source of their companies supply. The store chain expanded to over 200 store that specialized in clothing, footwear and accessories in small communities.

Right now, SAAN employs 3,100 full and part time associates.

Well, that is SAAN for you. It’s the only place in my town (actually for several neighbouring towns too) to get clothes at these prices.

*name changed to protect the meanest person I've had the misfortune of meeting. Ok, her name is Gwen, but (in my mind) I call her Gwendel, after the monster from Beowulf. She's worked there for longer than I've been alive. That to me is the single scariest prospect I've ever faced and only drives me further to save up for my education.

Saan (?), n. pl. Ethnol.

Same as Bushmen.


© Webster 1913.

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