August 16, 2005, 12:00 AM

The web grows in an otherwise flat year for Indigo

Canadian book seller Indigo says several enhancements to its e-commerce platform helped to drive web sales up in the 2005 fiscal year to $54 million from $41.5 million in FY 2004.

 

The Internet and e-commerce were bright spots in an otherwise flat sales year for Canada-based Indigo Books and Music Inc. For its 2005 fiscal year, Indigo, which ranks as No. 132 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, posted web sales of $54 million, up almost 30% from web sales of $41.5 million for its 2004 fiscal year. That’s in contrast to total sales of $658.2 million for the 2005 fiscal year, which is down from total sales of $673.4 million for the 2004 fiscal year. The sales figures are in U.S. dollars. The company says its overall sales were down slightly because of a slightly shorter fiscal year, the divestiture of a business unit and some store closings.

But Indigo, which is Canada’s largest book retailer, says several enhancements to its e-commerce platform continue to increase web sales. In the last several years, Indigo has installed web-enabled kiosks in its chain of stores, which include Indigo Books, Music & More, Chapters, The World’s Biggest Bookstore and Coles. Web sales were also aided by aggressive pricing, a broader product inventory and improved shipping options, the company says.

Indigo is also diversifying its e-commerce base. In January Indigo announced a joint merchandising initiative with online jeweler Blue Nile to participate in BlueNile.ca, the company’s Canadian e-commerce site. “Our partnership with Blue Nile is just one more way that chapters.indigo.ca delivers on its mission,” says Jonathan Ehrlich, executive vice president, online.

For the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year, the company reported web sales of $12.6 million, compared with sales of $9.3 million for the first quarter of the previous year. The sales are in U.S. dollars.

 

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