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Clothing giant in Burnaby part of profit 'doubling' but Omicron could change that

Third quarter was big for Aritzia
aritzia clothing

Fashion giants operating in Burnaby’s biggest shopping mall are seeing mixed success with the uncertainty that is COVID-19.

Aritzia Inc., which operates a flagship store in Metropolis at Metrotown, handily beat expectations as its net profit more than doubled on a big boost in revenues in the third quarter of its fiscal year.

The Vancouver-based clothing retailer says it earned $64.9 million for the three months ended Nov. 28, compared with $30.5 million in the prior year.

Adjusted profits were $71.2 million or 61 cents per share, up from $32.2 million or 29 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenues rose 63 per cent to $453.3 million from $278.3 million as retail revenues increased 72 per cent while e-commerce sales rose 47 per cent from the third quarter of 2021.

But it’s unclear how that upswing will change as the Omicron variant spreads.

For example, Lululemon Athletica Inc., which operates a large store in Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, has lowered its fourth-quarter earnings estimates as the Omicron variant curbs the retailer's sales. 

The company says it now expects its net revenue and earnings to be on the low end of previously announced ranges.

Calvin McDonald, CEO of the athletic apparel retailer, says Lululemon started the holiday season in a strong position, but has since experienced several consequences as a result of the surge in COVID-19 cases and changing restrictions.

He says Lululemon has been impacted by increased capacity constraints in stores, more limited staff availability and reduced operating hours in some locations. 

Lululemon’s share price dropped a little more than six per cent following Monday's announcement, and was down roughly 30 per cent from its all-time high in November. 

For Aritizia, sales growth in the United States increased 115 per cent and represented 44 per cent of total revenue in the quarter, but that country is now seeing some of the largest numbers when it comes to new COVID-19 cases, with many calling for new lockdowns to slow the spread.

Aritzia was expected to report 40 cents per share in adjusted profits on $368 million in revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

  • With additional reporting by the Canadian Press