Aritzia's sales and profit surge

Sales jump 65.2 per cent year-over-year; profit up 85.8 per cent

aritzia richmond
Aritzia's location at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver mall opened during the pandemic | Rob Kruyt

Vancouver-based fashion house Aritzia Inc. (TSX:ATZ) enjoyed a robust first quarter, the company revealed July 7. 

Sales in the first quarter, which ended May 29, rose 65.2 per cent, to $407.9 million, compared with the same quarter a year ago. Profit in the quarter surged 85.8 per cent, to $33.3 million. 

Bricks-and-mortar stores helped that bump, as the company's e-commerce revenue during the period was up a comparatively small 15.5 per cent, to $120.1 million. 

The company's profit margin increased slightly, to 44.3 per cent, up from 44.2 per cent one year ago. 

The company's new CEO, Jennifer Wong, in a release attributed the success to the "incredible reception to our spring and summer product."

She said the company saw strength across "all geographies and channels, and we were particularly pleased with our ongoing momentum in the United States, where revenue grew 81 per cent."

New stores' performance also exceeded Wong's expectations, she said.

The company said that it is on-track to sell between $440 million and $460 million worth of products in its second quarter, which would be an increase of between 26 per cent and 31 per cent, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

That sales growth anticipates continued strong sales south of the border as well as in Canada.

This revenue range for the second quarter reflects all stores open with no COVID-19-related restrictions in place, compared to last year, when 27 of the company's stores in Canada were required to close for approximately one-third of the quarter.

"What I found remarkable is that slightly more revenue is now coming from the U.S.," Retail Insider Media owner and co-editor-in-chief Craig Patterson told BIV. 

Indeed, U.S. sales represented 50.7 per cent of Aritzia's first-quarter sales. One year ago, in its first quarter, 53.7 per cent of the company's sales came from Canada. 

"Aritzia recently signed a couple of significant leases, including its largest store in the world, which will be on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago," Patterson said. 

He said that Aritzia's future Chicago location is expected to be 46,000 square feet. To contrast that with the company's Vancouver flagship location, at the corner of Robson and Thurlow streets, Patterson said that the Vancouver hub is 10,000 square feet, plus a separate 3,000 square feet to the east in what is a Wilifred-branded store that is also run by the company. 

Aritzia's outlook is to generate between $1.875 billion and $1.9 billion in the current fiscal year, up between 25 per cent and 27 per cent compared with last year.