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Indigo sales down as the chain prepares to launch its lifestyle business

Indigo Books & Music is reporting a 1.1 per cent decrease in net revenue for its first quarter, which ended July 1.

Revenue for the quarter was $202 million, down $2 million from last year, which Indigo attributes to lower print books sales. Indigo also reports its digital operations grew 170 per cent, thanks in part to the June launch of the Kobo Touch eReader.

While the net loss attributable to Indigo shareholders for the quarter was $18, million compared to $5 million last year, in the press release, Indigo CEO Heather Reisman said, “The results were expected as we invest both in the growth of our digital business and in preparing to launch our proprietary gift and lifestyle business in the fall of this year.”

Indigo’s new product mix will focus more on giftware, toys, and other lifestyle products, reducing the shelf space dedicated to books. Indigo said it has created a $3.2 million inventory provision for its annual summer clearance sale as it “intends to discount more aggressively to clear a larger amount of product than in prior years.”

In July, Q&Q reported that the chain will also be introducing a new returns policy that will evaluate a book’s sales after 45 days, a significant reduction from the industry standard of 90 days.