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Lifestyle retailer in Burnaby’s biggest mall part of huge revenue surge

Metropolis seeing new stores opening as well
Indigo Instagram

The biggest books and lifestyle retailer in Burnaby’s biggest shopping mall is seeing a big bounce-back in its revenues.

Indigo Books and Music Inc., which operates at Metropolis at Metrotown, says a surge in purchases helped revenues to surpass pre-pandemic levels in its latest quarter.

The company says revenues for the three months ended Oct. 2 were $238.8 million, up from $205.3 million in the second quarter of 2020 despite occupancy constraints in several key markets.

Indigo says the revenue improvements came from its e-commerce business, which grew 85 per cent from the prior-year quarter.

While retail at stores remains challenged, it says customers who came to shop demonstrated a strong commitment to books and responded positively to its other offerings.

Net earnings were $3.5 million or 13 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $17.5 million or 63 cents per share.

The company says it received a one-time payment of $17 million from a renegotiation of its partnership with Starbucks, with 36 cafés continuing to operate within its stores. The Starbucks at the Indigo store in Metropolis at Metrotown closed down.

"Our customers are clearly demonstrating a positive response to all aspects of our omnichannel approach delivering the second quarter revenues well above pre-pandemic levels," stated CEO Heather Reisman.

It’s another good sign for retailers at Metropolis, which is seeing new stores replacing those that closed down forever.

One example is Armani Exchange, which opened up a pop-up store in Metrotown and 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.

This 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.

  • With additional reporting by the Canadian Press