Indigo Books & Music got off to a strong start in fiscal 2015, posting a 5.4% growth in revenue in the first quarter ended June 28, 2014. The company cut its loss to C$14.0 million, from C$20.9 million in last year’s first quarter. Sales in the period were C$180.8 million.
The sales gain was driven by an increase in comparable store sales which offset the closing of seven outlets. Comps rose 8.3% in its superstores, while comp sales at its smaller format outlets rose 1.9%. Revenue from its online channel increased 14.0%.
While the company acknowledged that part of the reason for the gain was a shift in the timing of Easter and the launch of two American Girl boutiques, it said its decision to diversify its product offerings is gaining traction with customers. Indigo has been steadily adding a range of products to its inventory mix and the company said its lifestyle, paper, and toy departments had double-digit sales increases in the period. Books, Indigo noted, had growth in the quarter for the first time since fiscal 2010.
The new American Girl Boutique shops were enough of a success that Indigo will open a third one before the holidays in its Chapters Rideau store in Ottawa.