The Canadian bookselling industry is dominated by Chapters Indigo. You can get a good indication on how many people are buying print books by looking at their overall financial profitability. The latest quarterly results are in today and the future looks dark.
Chapters and Indigo are on the brink of disaster. The bookseller announced a loss of $10 million last November and a massive $20 million decline in June. The latest figures published today have their resources shrinking further with a $14 million loss and C$180.8 million in total revenue. One of big reasons the losses were not nearly as profound as they could have been, was primarily due to the fact seven bookstores closed.
The flagship store on Robson Street in Vancouver and Indigo Yorkdale have been doing brisk business selling American Girl Apparel. Heavy promotion is being done outside the stores with posters to bring people in to buy dolls and accessories. This product line has been so successful that Indigo made the call to bring it to the Chapters Rideau store in Ottawa.
During the earnings call Indigo drew attention to their lifestyle products were seeing success. It took awhile for their inventory selection to catch on with the Canadian public that often shops at Pier One Imports for that sort of thing. A new selection of content that is available anywhere else is now available at the bigger stores.
Books have seen greater success and Indigo reported that for the first time since 2010 they sold lots. This is due to major titles being released this year by Hillary Clinton and JK Rowling.