Indigo: Bookselling as a Cultural Experience

The New York Times: “It may seem strange for a bookstore chain to be developing and selling artisanal soup bowls and organic cotton baby onesies. But … Indigo is experimenting with a new model, positioning itself as a ‘cultural department store’ where customers who wander in to browse through books often end up lingering as they impulsively shop for cashmere slippers and crystal facial rollers, or a knife set to go with a new Paleo cookbook.” Book-industry analyst Peter Hildick-Smith, comments: “Cross-merchandising is Retail 101, and it’s hard to do in a typical bookstore. Indigo found a way to create an extra aura around the book-buying experience, by creating a physical extension of what you’re reading about.”

“The atmosphere is unabashedly intimate, cozy and feminine — an aesthetic choice that also makes commercial sense, given that women account for some 60 percent of book buyers. A section called ‘The Joy of the Table’ stocks Indigo-brand ceramics, glassware and acacia wood serving platters with the cookbooks. The home décor section has pillows and throws, woven baskets, vases and scented candles. There’s a subsection called ‘In Her Words,’ which features idea-driven books and memoirs by women. An area labeled ‘A Room of Her Own’ looks like a lush dressing room, with vegan leather purses, soft gray shawls, a velvet chair, scarves and journals alongside art, design and fashion books.”

“The new approach has proved lucrative: In its 2017 fiscal year, the company’s revenue exceeded $1 billion Canadian for the first time. In its 2018 fiscal year, Indigo reported a revenue increase of nearly $60 million Canadian over the previous year, making it the most profitable year in the chain’s history.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail