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Indigo closes 20 Coles small-format stores amid “seismic” losses

Indigo Robson (Janis Nicolay Photography. CNW Group/Indigo Books & Music Inc.)

Just days before Indigo Books & Music releases its fourth-quarter financial results, CEO Heather Reisman told Bloomberg News in an interview that “the depths of the losses we are looking at are literally as seismic as this COVID event is to the world.”

The country’s largest physical book retailer and self-described cultural department store has already closed 20 small-format Coles locations in mostly remote locations across the country. Reisman described the stores as either “not profitable or very, very marginal.” She said, “That was a tough decision because in those communities, we were the only bookstore, and I suspect the only store that was willing to operate at a loss to serve the community.”

In the Bloomberg interview, Reisman expressed her frustration toward the federal government for its lack of support for retailers. She suggested that low-cost loans would be a significant aid in getting businesses through the next two years, and also called for sustaining the temporary wage top-up program.