Indigo sales: digital hike, print decline

Indigo sales: digital hike, print decline

Canadian retailer Indigo Books & Music has reported 170% acceleration in digital sales growth, but blamed a drop in overall revenue for its first quarter on declining physical book sales.

Indigo attributed the hike in its digital business in the later part of the quarter to 2nd July to the launch of its Kobo Touch e-Reader.

However, it warned short term challenging times lay ahead as its print books sales have dropped, leaving to overall revenue being down 1.1% to C$202m for its first quarter.

Indigo c.e.o Heather Reisman said: "We are very pleased with the growth in our digital business…in the short term our retail business will be challenged however we are confident that our strategy to transition to become a full lifestyle retailer will bear fruit."

The net loss attributable to shareholders rose from C$5m in the first quarter last year to C$18m in the same period this year, but Reisman said: "The results were expected as we invest both in the growth of our digital business and in preparing to launch our proprietary gift and lifestyle business in the fall of this year." 

On a comparable store basis, Indigo and Chapters superstores posted a 5.4% decrease in revenue, while Coles and IndigoSpirit small format stores were down 5.2%.

Although Kobo now operates as a spin-off business, Indigo still maintains a controlling interest.

The company is also planning to launch its own brand of gift and lifestyle products, which means that less space will be devoted to books.