Aritzia, which filed an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in August, has launched international shipping to 221 countries and introduced an international e-commerce site. The move could be seen as a precursor to launching international stores. However, Oliver Walsh, chief marketing officer, said international shipping will give Aritzia insight into different markets.
“It’s step one in terms of our international thinking,” Walsh said. “It’s going to give us lots of interesting data. Something we think about and consider a lot in our e-commerce business is e-commerce analytics. The data points will inform our strategy. We operate 76 stores in North America, which we are continuing to grow.”
Aritzia raised 400 million Canadian dollars, or $302 million, in its IPO on Sept. 26, which represented the largest deal so far for the Canadian IPO market.
Brian Hill started the women’s apparel brand in 1984. Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners has been a majority investor since 2005. Hill and Berkshire hold 97 percent voting control of the company, based on the dual-class structure of the shares.
For the second quarter ended Aug. 28 — Aritzia’s first earnings report since becoming a public company — the Vancouver-based retailer posted a net loss of 67.3 million Canadian dollars, or $50.8 million, equal to 65 Canadian cents, or 49 cents, a diluted share. This compares with net income of 4.7 million Canadian dollars, or $3.5 million, and 5 Canadian cents, or 4 cents, in earnings per share a year ago. Net revenue rose 30.1 percent to 157.9 million, or $119.3 million, from 121.4 million, or $91.7 million, a year ago. Comp-store sales rose 16.9 percent on top of the 20.8 percent comp growth a year ago.
Among the countries Aritzia is servicing with international shipping are China, the U.K., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Aritzia’s international e-commerce site is optimized in a responsive manner for any device and will offer thousands of products. Global shoppers are redirected to an international version of Aritzia’s web site. The assortment is the same as that available to North American customers. Walsh said the retailer will determine if any tweaks are necessary “to make it more relevant.”
Aritzia’s shipping and return options include standard or express services. As a part of the launch, Aritzia is offering free standard shipping to international shoppers that spend more than $100, and free express service for orders above $500.
We’re proud of our customer service with style advisors,” Walsh said. “We have a whole team of style advisors that speaks a variety of languages. They offer styling advice for finding fashion items to fit the consumer’s personal style.”
Aritzia has been promoting the international shipping service through Instagram.