Indigo Books & Music reported strong gains in sales and earnings for the fiscal year ended April 2, 2016. Revenue rose 11.0% over fiscal 2015, to C$994.2 million, and the chain had net earnings of C$28.6 million in fiscal 2016 compared to a loss of C$3.5 million in fiscal 2015. Results include one extra week of sales in fiscal 2016 compared to the prior year.
The retailer reported gains across all parts of its business with the superstores and online operations reporting the strongest performances. Comparable store sales (on a 52-week basis) rose 12.8% at Indigo’s superstores in the year, while sales through indigo.ca grew 15.3%. Same store sales rose at Indigo’s smaller stores increased 10.9%. Indigo finished the year with seven fewer outlets than it operated at the end of fiscal 2015, with a current total of 217 stores including large and small format.
The sales gain was led by double-digit growth in Indigo’s general merchandise segment while sales in its core book business, boosted by sales of adult coloring books, rose in the high single digits, the retailer reported.
“It’s worth noting that not only did our financial metrics improve, but actually all the key metrics of the business improved including traffic conversion, new customers, multi-channel shoppers, customer affection for the brand, and employee engagement,” said Indigo CEO Heather Reisman. The company was also recently named top Canadian retail employer brand by Ranstad Canada, an external recruitment and HR company.
Resiman added that although the retailer has no plans to add any new American Girl boutiques in the next quarter — there are already seven across Canada — Indigo did recently reach a deal that will allow them to sell American Girl products in their online store by Christmas, which they have not done before.