Indigo's Reisman: Ambition to Expand into U.S.
Indigo Books and Music, which has some 220 stores across Canada, plans to expand into the U.S., BloombergBusiness said. In an interview, CEO Heather Reisman told Bloomberg, "I want the stock back up at 20 [dollars] and beyond, that's my ambition: make this thrive and then take it outside the country."
Reisman gave few details about when and where the foray abroad might happen, although she said that growth would "more likely be organic than through acquisitions," Bloomberg wrote.
Selling under the Indigo, Chapters and Coles names, the company has expanded its non-book offerings, and "lifestyle products" now make up 30% of sales. More than half of those products are designed in-house, including at an Indigo design studio in New York. For some time, the company has reported substantial sales gains in lifestyle, paper, toys and electronics. It also has three American Girl specialty boutiques.
As part of this trend, Indigo has developed a "cultural department store" model, which includes "home decorating, dining ware and personal technology." This will make its debut next year. Another initiative is an online tool that lets customers "try out different wall art combinations and then customize prints from Indigo's bank of Getty Images photographs," Bloomberg said.
After several years of closing stores, including three large ones in Toronto last year, Indigo plans to open new stores in Toronto and Vancouver and will double warehouse space for online sales.
Reisman founded Indigo in 1996. In 2001, Indigo bought Chapters, its main Canadian competition. Indigo also worked early on to develop an online bookselling site, which became Kobo. It spun off Kobo in 2009. Rakuten bought Kobo in 2011.
Reisman and her husband, private equity fund owner Gerry Schwartz, own about 60% of Indigo.