Indigo Books and Music, Canada's leading book retailer, reported a slight rise in sales for its second quarter, which ended September 26, driven in large part by the ongoing spike in online sales sparked by the pandemic. Revenue was C$205.3 million, up 1% from the same period last year. Indigo's loss was cut to C$17.5 million, compared to a loss of C$20 million for the same quarter last year.
Online revenue in the quarter soared 113.6%, to $63.0 million, compared to $29.5 million in the same period last year. The report noted that re-opened stores saw softer traffic than pre-pandemic levels, with Covid-19 continuing to keep some customers out of stores, resulting in a 19.3% decline in in-store retail revenue to C$136.8 million for the period compared with C$169.5 million last year.
For the first half of fiscal 2021, total revenue decreased 14%, to C$340.4 million, compared to $395.9 million for the same period last year. The net loss rose to C$49.1 million from C$39.5 million in the first six months of fiscal 2020.
Indigo indicated that it had gained over 200,000 new customers in the second quarter and added new services including click-and-collect, which allows customers to order online and pick up at a store, as well as delivery via Instacart. Book categories that were particularly strong in the quarter include wellness, at-home learning, and entertainment.
“Our team has put out extraordinary effort over the last eight months and meaningfully pushed our business forward notwithstanding the challenges of operating in a Covid environment," said CEO Heather Reisman in a statement. "We are energized by these results, and by customers’ continued affinity for our brand.”
No mention was made of two stores that unionized in the period and if that looks to be a growing trend.