Fashion giant in Burnaby’s Metropolis blames customer limits for recent losses

As more retailers shut down their stores in Burnaby due to COVID-19, one company is detailing how they are managing to stay afloat amid the losses.

Fashion giant Aritzia has reopened its store in Burnaby’s Metropolis at Metrotown after March’s COVID-19 shutdowns, part of a phase reopening of 96 total outlets.

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It has now detailed ongoing related issues that are blamed for lower revenue and a net loss in its most recent fiscal quarter.

The company, which is also behind the TNA, Babaton and Wilfred brands, reported a net loss of $900,000 on revenue of $200 million in the 13-week period ended Aug. 30, beating analyst expectations for a net loss of $5.3 million on revenue of $191 million, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv. By contrast, in the comparable period in 2019, Aritzia reported net income of $17.9 million on revenue of $241 million.

E-commerce revenue has grown 82.3%, the company said, and is blaming new protocols for limiting its in-store growth.

aritzia burnaby
An Aritzia store. CP Photo

The revenue decline was mainly due to ongoing COVID-19 occupancy restrictions, reduced operating hours and partial boutique closures, Aritzia said.

Fewer people allowed inside the store, means fewer people spending money.

The good news is Christmas is coming and Aritzia is starting to hire and train staff for the season — its most important sales period, said president Jennifer Wong on a conference call.

Aritzia's optimism about the upcoming holiday season, however, is tempered by recent increases in COVID-19 positive case rates and new government restrictions in some of its key markets, the company said.

  • With files from the Canadian Press

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