Driven by an increase in sales its superstore and small format outlets, sales at Indigo Books & Music increased 17.4% in the fiscal year ended April 2, 2022, over fiscal 2021, rising to C$1.06 billion (about $800 million). Canada’s largest bookstore chain also posted an operating profit of C$29 million, compared to a loss of C$31.9 million in fiscal 2021.
Sales through Indigo’s superstores increased 35%, to C$595.5 million, while small store sales increased 29%, to C93.1 million. The gains at the physical stores offset a 13% drop in online sales, which fell to C$321.5 million. Indigo noted that, despite the drop in fiscal 2022, online revenue was 98% higher in fiscal 2022 than in fiscal 2020—a year that ended just as the pandemic was shifting into high gear. (Total Indigo sales were also higher last year compared to fiscal 2020, when sales were C$957.7 million.)
Indigo attributed the improvement in financial results to its omnichannel approach. The retailer said it has seen consumer behavior change over the course of the pandemic, as consumers increasingly begin the discovery process on its digital platforms and buy the book or other item at one of its stores.
Book sales rose 8% in the year, fueled, Indigo said, “by the popularity of reading on TikTok.” The non-book categories posted strong gains, with sales growth of over 30% in both Indigo’s lifestyle and baby product categories. Its proprietary brands also had solid gains, Indigo said.
Commenting on the results, Indigo CEO Heather Reisman said Covid has spurred “creative thinking” at the company, adding: “we are energized by the opportunities ahead of us.”