A strike at Canada Post hurt holiday sales at Indigo Books & Music for the third quarter, which ended December 29, with revenue falling 1.7%, to C$426 million, compared to the same period in 2017. Earnings declined by nearly 50% for the period, with the company reporting earnings of C$21.5 million, down from the C$42.6 million it reported for the same period the year before.
The chain attributed the loss in earnings to a variety of factors, including the postal strike, which disrupted online sales and deliveries; ongoing renovations at stores; an expansion of distribution facilities; minimum wage increases across Canada; and the need to clear out unsold merchandise at lower prices than anticipated. A one-time, non-cash gift card breakage revenue adjustment of C$4.4 million in the prior period also contributed to lower reported revenue.
"Our third quarter financial performance was challenging," Indigo CEO Heather Reisman said. "Given the factors which impacted the company, we were satisfied to sustain sales essentially on par with last year."
On a conference call with investors to discuss the results, Reisman noted the opening of the company's first store in the U.S. in October, saying that the store was "resonating well with customers" but the chain has no plans to open further stores in the U.S. yet.