August 20, 2008, 12:00 AM

Web sales rise moderately for Indigo in the first quarter of FY 2009

The addition of an online books community last fall helped push web sales higher at Indigo Books & Music in Q1 of the new fiscal year. Web sales rose by 6.5%.

Web sales for Indigo Books & Music Inc. rose by 6.5% in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ended June 28, to $19.7 million from $18.5 million a year earlier. The sales figures are in U.S. dollars.

“Growth in the online channel was primarily attributable to the successful launch of the Indigo online community in September 2007,” the retailer says. “Since inception, over 130,000 members have joined the community.”

Canada’s largest books retailer also reported a net loss of $1.2 million on sales of $179.6 million in U.S. dollars vs. a net loss of $2.6 million on revenue of $175.8 million in the prior year.

On a comparable store basis, Indigo and Chapters superstores posted 3.3% growth, while Coles small format stores were up 5.4%, the company says. “We are pleased that consumers continue to respond to lower book prices by buying and reading more,” says Indigo CEO Heather Reisman.

Indigo, No. 137 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, currently operates 86 Chapters, Indigo and the World’s Biggest Bookstore locations and 159 small format stores.

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