Aritzia has grown into one of Canada's great retailing successes even as other clothing merchants have run into trouble.
Back in 1984, businessman Brian Hill launched the company's first boutique in Vancouver. Since then, nearly 100 more stores have opened in Canada and the United States.
On Friday, Aritzia released its annual report, revealing net income of $90.6 million on revenues of $980.6 million in the 2020 fiscal year.
That marked an $11.9-million higher profit than recorded in the previous year.
Normally, the CEO of a company with nearly a billion dollars in revenue and solid profitability collects a whopping salary.
But not Hill.
According to his company's information circular, he only received a $1 salary and $1 bonus in the past year. And he's been collecting this paltry amount every year since the company went public in 2016.
"In Fiscal 2018, Mr. Hill made the decision to forfeit 100% of his stock options (671,899) granted to him in connection with our IPO for no consideration in order to provide the Company with greater flexibility within the stock option pool to further incentivize senior management," the information circular states.
But before you shed any tears for Hill, keep in mind that he's still fabulously wealthy, thanks to his shareholdings. With 24.5 million multiple voting shares and 440,700 subordinate shares, the value of all of his securities on March 1 was $552.5 million.
"Mr. Hill’s efforts and his significant equity ownership continue to demonstrate his outstanding commitment to Aritzia, and his leadership, vision, experience and expertise continue to be a major driving force behind our success," the company stated.
Hill is a third-generation clothing kingpin. His family started in the retail business in 1914 and opened the Hill's of Kerrisdale store in the 1920s. Family members also launched Blue Ruby Jewellery in 1998.
This year, Aritzia donated 100,000 of its community relief packages to 100,000 frontline health-care workers. They included two cotton Tour T-shirts and two pairs of Atmosphere leggings.
"After speaking to many frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers, we learned that new sanitization routines require you to have separate wardrobes for travelling to and from work," the company says on its website. "As a women’s fashion boutique, this is something we knew we could help with. To make things easier on you, we created custom, comfy easy to wear and wash outfits."
The company also contributed $100,000 to Black Lives Matter and the NAACP. But that created a backlash when a former Black manager in Toronto went public with a declaration that she was given cashier shifts.
Aritzia also announced this year that it's investing $1 million on internal diversity and inclusion initiatives.