Chapters and Indigo has announced another quarterly loss of ten million dollars at a recent investors call. Revenue at Indigo and Chapters superstores declined 2.8% in the quarter, while Coles and IndigoSpirit small format stores were down 8.2%. Online sales increased 3.3% to $18.7-million from $18.1-million for the same period last year.
Indigo faces a crisis as the company is trying to turn sagging book sales around by transforming their business. They launched Indigo Tech a few months ago and now sells iPads, tablets and Jawbone devices. In October, Indigo announced that American Girl doll stores will open up inside the Indigo at Yorkdale and another store in Vancouver, with additional locations to follow. Chief executive officer Heather Reisman said she plans to transform Indigo from a store that sells books to the world’s first creative department store, featuring sections for tech, home, style, paper, books, baby, kids and Canada.
I can think of another major bookstore chain that was facing similar issues with diminishing book sales, and started to gravitate towards a lifestyle brand, Borders.
Update: I live in Vancouver where some of the biggest Chapters stores in Canada are. All of the lifestyle items are on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the building. There are no carts, hand baskets or anything for people to shop and carry many different items. Instead, the average item in the store is a vase, throw-pillows, Snuggies, and items that have a hefty weight to them. How are customers going to buy more then two or three items if that is all they can carry? At the very least, if you are going to move into the Lifestyle Arena, make it easy for your shoppers to actually buy more then two items?