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A summer sale sign is seen at Aritzia at the Eaton Centre in Toronto in this file photo.Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Canadian retailer Aritzia, which specializes in women's fashion, is on the cusp of going public.

The Vancouver-based retailer has already lined up investment banks for its IPO, and is likely to file the paperwork this week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Founded in 1984 by Brian Hill, the retailer brought on Boston-based Berkshire Partners as a private equity partner in 2005, around the same time Lululemon Athletica courted similar relationships. At the time Aritzia generated roughly $100-million in revenues from 18 stores.

Private equity owners typically prefer to hold their investments for five to seven years, which makes Berkshire's 11-year position abnormal for the industry.

Aritzia could not immediately be reached for comment.

The IPO is being prepared amid hot equity markets, as investors clamour for non-commodity stocks in an era with incredibly low interest rates. However, it is unclear how supportive investors will be of new issues.

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In May, mortgage company MCAP Corp. filed for a $275-million IPO, and the deal was initially viewed as a slam dunk amid a hot housing market. By late June that narrative had changed, and the deal was pulled the week after Britain voted to leave the European Union because investors turned skittish.

Since then, equity markets have roared back and the S&P/TSX Composite Index is nearing 15,000 again.

Aritzia has embarked on an expansion spree of late, particularly in the United States. As of this spring the retailer planned to open three new stores in major metropolitan areas this year: New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

In Canada, Aritzia has been increasing the size of its store format by relocating to new spaces in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. The retailer has also spun off some of its in-house brands such as TNA into standalone stores.