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Clothing giant in Burnaby’s biggest mall fights off COVID-19 to see sales surge

More people getting outside means more demand for athletic wear
lululemon athletica
lululemon athletica has seen sales surge.

While many businesses are still reeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the latest being restaurants that have been forced to close their indoor dining – at least one company in Burnaby seems to be surging.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. – which operates a store in Burnaby’s biggest mall at Metropolis at Metrotown - says its business continued to accelerate as the retailer capped its fiscal year with revenue soaring 24 per cent in its most recent quarter.

The Vancouver-based maker of athletic and yoga wear says its revenue amounted to US$1.7 billion in its fourth quarter, up from $1.3 billion the year prior. 

A big reason could be more people buying athletic wear because they are getting outside more for exercise due to many pandemic-related restrictions.

Burnaby parks have seen a surge in people using them, including the trails at Deer Lake and Burnaby Lake.

"Our continued growth demonstrates the strength of Lululemon — before, during and as the pandemic subsides," stated CEO Calvin McDonald.

"We are still in the early innings of our growth, fuelled by exciting innovations that create even more opportunity into the future."

Revenue increased 21 per cent in North America and 47 per cent internationally as it opened six net new company-operated stores, increasing its global total to 521.

Comparable sales — a key retail metric — surged 21 per cent.

Direct to consumer revenue increased 94 per cent in the fourth quarter and accounted for more than half of total revenues, up from 33 per cent a year earlier. 

The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, recorded net income of about $329 million for the period ended Jan. 31, up from $298 million in 2019.

Lululemon's diluted earnings per share reached $2.52, compared with $2.28 in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Analysts on average had expected Lululemon to report diluted earnings of $2.47 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. 

For the full-year, Lululemon's net profits decreased 8.8 per cent to $588.9 million from $645.6 million, while revenues rose 11 per cent to $4.4 billion.

Direct to consumer net revenue doubled. 

The company expects revenue to range between $1.1 billion and $1.13 billion during the first quarter with net earnings of 81 to 85 cents per share.

Fiscal 2021 is forecast to generate $6.10 to $6.25 per share in diluted earnings with net revenues surging at least 26 per cent to reach between $5.55 billion and $5.65 billion. 

  • With additional reporting by the Canadian Press