Clothing giant in Burnaby's biggest mall takes a 45% pounding

One of the flagship clothing stores in Burnaby’s biggest mall – Metropolis at Metrotown - is Aritizia.

As the mall slowly reopens to the public, with more and more stores coming to life again each day, people have been wondering just how bad things have been for retailers due to COVID-19.

Aritizia’s latest numbers tell the story and it’s an ugly one.

Aritzia Inc. expects its net revenue is about 45% lower for the current quarter compared with the same time last year due to COVID-19 related store closures and despite a significant spike in online sales.The company expects net revenue for the three months ending May 31 to fall to between $105 million and $110 million, compared with about $197 million in the first quarter last year, the company said Thursday.

"This reflects two weeks of decelerating retail revenues in March prior to our boutique closures," said CEO and founder Brian Hill during a conference call with analysts.

Aritzia saw sales in stores slow in the first two weeks of March as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in Canada. On March 16, the company shuttered its 96 stores in Canada and the U.S. in an effort to help curb the spread.

The company started to slowly reopen some of its boutiques as of May 7 and expects to have about 30 of its locations opening by the end of the first quarter.

  • With files from the Canadian Press
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