Indigo Books and Music is the largest bookseller in Canada and the company has zero debt, which is rare. In the last three months of 2017 Indigo reported they had their best financial quarter ever and generated over $433.3 million in sales, which is an 8.2% increase over the same period in 2016.
The Canadian chain attributed the sales gain to double-digit growth in its general merchandise category, as well as strong online sales. Overall same store sales were up 7.9% led by a 26.4% increase of online sales with comp store sales up 4.9% in Indigo’s superstores and 2.3% in its smaller format stores.Sales of books increased over last year’s comparable period, but the company did not say by how much.
Revenue from other sources includes café revenue, irewards card sales, revenue from unredeemed gift cards (“gift card breakage”), revenue from unredeemed plum points (“plum breakage”), corporate sales, and revenue-sharing with Rakuten Kobo Inc.. Revenue from other sources increased $1.8 million or 22.0% to $10.0 million for the 13-week period ended December 30, 2017 compared to $8.2 million in the same period last year as higher plum breakage was partially offset by lower café revenue.
What is the future direction of Indigo? They are getting away from the “Chapters Bookstore” name and trying to change all of the stores to Indigo, and they are less of a bookstore and more of a “cultural department store.” They revenerated six stores last year and intend on doing another 20 this year, in addition to a new flagship store opening in downtown Vancouver. The biggest news is that Indigo is expanding outside of Canada, into New Jersey sometime in the next year or two.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.