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Fashion giant in Burnaby sees 75% revenue surge that bucks COVID-19 trend

Profits near $40 million as other stores close
Aritizia has seen its numbers rebound. Aritizia Instagram

A fashion giant in Burnaby’s biggest mall is bucking the trend when it comes to profits.

Aritzia Inc., which operates in Metropolis at Metrotown, beat expectations as its profits soared in its latest quarter on a 75 per cent increase in revenues.

The Vancouver-based clothing retailer says it earned $39.8 million for the three months ended Aug. 29, up from a loss of $900,000 a year earlier.

This news comes just as Metropolis lost a big retailer in Colton’s Couture, which closed its 2,100-square-foot mega-store in Burnaby amid slow numbers.

Adjusted income for the second quarter for Aritzia was $44.4 million or 39 cents per share, up from $1 million or one cent per share in the year-ago period and 18 cents per share a year earlier. 

Revenues reached $350.1 million, compared with $200.2 million in the second quarter of 2020 as comparable sales grew 60 per cent to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

Aritzia was expected to earn 21 cents per share in adjusted profit on $296.2 million in revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company says its e-commerce revenue increased 49 per cent in the quarter, on top of the 82 per cent growth it saw in the second quarter of last year.

"The strength of our business across all geographies and all channels continues through the start of the third quarter. Looking ahead, expansion in the United States will be a leading driver of our growth," stated founder, CEO and chairman Brian Hill.

Aritzia says it expects net revenues of $350 million to $375 million in the third quarter despite supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and the ongoing indirect effects of COVID-19. 

Canadian retail sales rose 2.1 per cent to $57.2 billion in August, boosted by gains at food and beverage stores, gasoline stations and clothing and clothing accessories stores.

However, Statistics Canada said Friday its initial estimate for September suggests retail sales reversed course in September and fell 1.9 per cent, though it cautioned the figure will be revised.

The agency also said its early estimate for manufacturing sales in September point to a drop of 3.2 per cent for the month, due in large part to the transportation equipment industry.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes said retail sales roared back in August, but then took another breather in September.

"The ugly flash readings for retail sales and manufacturing will dent our previously heady GDP forecast for the month," Mendes wrote in a note to clients.

"However, while goods sectors were plagued by supply chain challenges, according to the labour force survey data, activity across a range of services sectors was increasing."

The jobs report for September showed employment returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time as the economy gained 157,000 jobs for the month.

  • With files from the Canadian Press