Sales at Indigo, Canada's leading book retailer, continue to slide. The company reported a total comparable sales decline of 7.6% for the first quarter of its current 2020 fiscal year compared to a year ago, a figure that covers both physical and online sales. Revenue for the first quarter ended June 29, 2019 was C $192.6 million compared to C $205.4 million for the same period last year, a decline of 6.3%. In the last quarter of fiscal 2019, ended March 30, 2019, revenue fell 7.4% compared to the final quarter of fiscal 2018 and comp store sales dropped 8.7%.
Overall, the company reported a first quarter loss of C$19.1 million up from a net loss of C$15.4 million last year.
The sales decline was blamed in part on a "reduction in promotional activity," while the higher loss was pinned on the decline in sales combined with ongoing restructuring and renovation costs.
CEO Heather Reisman said: “This quarter’s results were in line with our expectations. While we continue to face many of the same headwinds from last year, strategic steps to recharge growth, increase productivity and improve profitability are well underway. We remain confident in our investments over the long term and in the steps we are taking.”
What specific "headwinds" Reisman is referring to was unclear, though as has been noted, the dearth of new bestselling titles may be contributing to the overall fall off in sales. The company continues to renovate stores, converting them into what they call "cultural department stores" and last year opened its first store in the United States, in New Jersey, though further expansion in the U.S. now could be in doubt.