Business

Fanatics line up in Langley for hours for shoe sale

Hundreds of shoe shopaholics packed into the Langley Army & Navy store Wednesday (April 25) morning for the 63rd annual Legendary Shoe Sale. The sale runs until May 6 with more than 100,000 pairs of shoes expected to be sold at the Army & Navy locations across the Lower Mainland. - Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times
Hundreds of shoe shopaholics packed into the Langley Army & Navy store Wednesday (April 25) morning for the 63rd annual Legendary Shoe Sale. The sale runs until May 6 with more than 100,000 pairs of shoes expected to be sold at the Army & Navy locations across the Lower Mainland.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

The early bird really does get the worm, according to hundreds of shopaholics who lined up outside the Langley Army & Navy Wednesday morning for opening day of the 63rd annual Legendary Shoe Sale.

Mary Feist, the lucky lady at the very front of the lineup of 365 people, had been standing outside the front doors since 5:45 a.m. for the sale that didn’t start until 8 a.m. She drove down from Osoyoos specifically to shop for shoes.

Sarah Johnston, Alyse Charlton and Melanie Charlton came in a close second, thanks to the kindness of their grandmother who arrived at 6 a.m. to hold a spot for them.

Behind them, three girls from southern France who heard about the sale from the family they are staying with in Chilliwack.

With all this hype, it’s no wonder this is the busiest day of the year at Army & Navy, said Sarah Cole, manager of the Langley location.

“This is our Christmas,” she said, motioning to the crowd of women hurrying past her to browse through the collection of shoes. “We pump the store up with stock and try to be as accommodating as we can.”

Staff stayed behind long after closing hours Tuesday night to set up the displays of hundreds of shoes for the massive sale. Pallets were brought into the showroom during store hours the day before and were covered in caution tape to make sure no one got a sneak peak of the goodies inside.

As soon as the doors opened Wednesday morning, a bee hive of women swarmed the shelves and filled their shopping bags and baskets to the rim with shoes. One Langley woman, Julianna McLean, figured she had at least 20 shoes in her basket.

By the time 8:30 a.m. rolled around, many of the shelves already looked barren and the floor was littered with shoe rejects.

This is Canada’s largest shoe sale and features 103,246 pairs of designer brands throughout Army & Navy’s six locations, all priced under $40. More than 3.15 million shoes have been sold during the sale since the event started 63 years ago.

The madness continues until May 6 with new stock arriving daily. For more information, click here.

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