Indigo Books & Music Inc. is a lynchpin in the single copy sale of Canadian magazines; whatever it decides to do may have a major impact on dollars and circulation. What's happening now, according to a Financial Post report is that the company intends to counter the global decline in book sales by expanding gift, toy and designer paper products and investing in new photography departments.
CEO Heather Reisman told the company's annual general meeting that the company's 75 superstores across the country will be branching out into photography. Two in-store pilot projects will start this fall.
In the new section, customers will be able to bring in their own digital files to print photographs, create photo books and keepsakes, or have their photographs taken in a studio by an on-staff portrait photographer. Indigo will also sell photographs as art.
"It will be affordable, unbelievably well-curated art," [she said] ."People are walking around taking pictures all the time," she added, holding up her BlackBerry. "What are we doing with those? How do we organize them? We think there is an opportunity."
The company has also created a division called Indigo Wholesale to sell its branded private-label goods to other retailers.Last year, Indigo's net earnings rose by an impressive 14 per cent to $1.42 a share from $1.24 a year earlier. Revenue was up 3% to $969 million. Interestingly, online sales decreased 4.8 per cent. Book sales were up 4 per cent in dollars and 1 per cent in volume. Reisman said that merchandise sales increases were "in the double digits".
Photo: Brett Gundlock, CanWest News Service, Financial Post