JD.com and Alibaba create indexes to identify Chinese shoppers’ spending trends, which help retailers gain insight.
But growth in e-books and e-book readers helped total sales increase almost 11%.
Web sales were flat but other sales, which include digital and electronic reader revenue, soared for Canadian books retailer Indigo Books & Music Inc. in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.
For the first quarter ended July 3, Indigo, No. 161 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:
- Web sales were flat year over year at C$19.1 million (US$18.2 million).
- Total sales increased 10.7% to C$214.3 million (US$203.6 million) from C$193.6 million (US$184 million) in the first quarter of fiscal 2010.
- Comparable-store sales for superstores increased 1.5% while same-store sales for small-format stores decreased 0.7%.
- Net loss was C$5.3 million (US$5 million) compared with C$2.3 million (US$2.2 million) in the prior year.
- Other sales increased 80.3% to $11.9 million from $6.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Other sales include calendar club, gift card, and digital book and electronic reader revenue. But the jump in sales came mainly from the increase in digital book and Kobo device sales, the company says.
“We are pleased with our top line revenue growth, particularly from our rapidly growing digital business,” says CEO Heather Reisman. “Consumers have responded very favorably to our Kobo eReader launched in late May, and the business continues to gain traction in markets around the world.”
In December, Indigo Shortcovers, its e-book service, spun off as a separate company and was rebranded as Kobo Inc. The new company earlier raised $16 million in funding from an international group of investors spanning mobile technology and retail companies including Borders Group Inc.