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High-end fashion retailer Armani Exchange expanding store in Burnaby's Metropolis

More fashion stores moving into city's biggest mall
Armani Exchange is moving from a pop-up store to a bigger space in Burnaby.

It all started with a pop-up store in Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby.

Now, Armani Exchange has seen enough success that it’s moving into a much-larger space in the mall.

The fashion giant sells high-end clothing and accessories and carries perhaps the biggest name in the fashion world.

It’s just one of several fashion brands that are expanding their presence in Metropolis, as one of the largest spaces in Burnaby’s biggest shopping mall is finally getting filled.

When Microsoft closed its flagship Metro Vancouver store at Metropolis at Metrotown, it left a gaping hole in the mall.

Now, it’s got a new tenant for the space as Japanese casual wear giant Uniqlo has put up signage saying it’s moving into the space. Uniqlo is a huge retailer and sells the kind of casual wear that people love.

It’s another dose of good news for the mall and follows Spanish fashion giant Zara opening its doors with a renovated space.

"Back bigger and bolder,” reads a mall post on Instagram. “@zara is now open with a larger and newly renovated store. Located on the upper level, shop your favourite fashion today.”

Zara has stores around the world and sells “fast fashions,” including clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear and more.

But not every Metropolis business, however, is doing well. Cineplex, which operates in the mall as well as a new theatre in the Amazing Brentwood has reported another quarter of deep losses.

The impact of theatre closures from the COVID-19 pandemic and moviegoers still cautious to return to multiplexes continued to wreak havoc on the company's financial results in the second quarter as it lost $103.7 million.

Cineplex also introduced a ticket price increase across the country, which chief executive Ellis Jacob told The Canadian Press was "about three per cent, on average."

That would amount to nearly 50 cents extra for a regular ticket at one of the Toronto locations, though Jacob pointed out the price could be less substantial in other parts of the country. It could also be more for premium tickets, such as Imax or VIP theatre screenings.

The decision was made to "kind of offset operating costs — all of the costs have gone up," Jacob said of running the business amid a pandemic.

"It was basically early spring that we started to look at it because we were looking at costs and we were looking at where things stood and we haven't taken a price increase for a while."

The price hike couldn't stem Cineplex's losses, which amounted to $1.64 per diluted share for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $98.9 million or $1.56 per diluted share a year ago.

Total revenue was $64.9 million, up from $22 million in the same quarter last year.

Box-office sales accounted for $12.5 million of revenue compared with a nominal amount a year ago when the company had just six theatres open in Alberta in June 2020.

Food service revenues, which incorporate results from concession and food delivery orders, rose to nearly $13.3 million from almost $3.3 million a year ago when nearly all of the sales came from people ordering popcorn and treats at home. However, the company noted that fewer customers were snacking in theatres during the latest quarter because of "strict operating restrictions and mandatory closures."

  • With files from the Canadian Press