Our Company


Indigo Timeline

1940
Brothers Carl and Jack Cole open the first Coles Store in Toronto. Coles goes on to expand across Canada, including opening The World's Biggest Bookstore, the original book superstore, in downtown Toronto.
1950
W.H. Smith, a U.K. company, opens in Toronto.
1989
W.H. Smith becomes Canadian-owned and changes its name to SmithBooks.
1994
Pathfinder Capital acquires SmithBooks.
1995
SmithBooks and Coles merge to form Chapters Inc. Chapters grows to become the largest book retailer in Canada, operating bookstores in all provinces.
1996
Indigo Books & Music is born. Bringing Indigo to life was the culmination of a life long passion for books and music created by booklovers, for booklovers. It was conceived as a booklovers' cultural department store and aims to consistently provide the most inspiring, richly stocked and inviting retail environment in the world.
1997
Indigo opens its first store, called Indigo Books Music & more, in Burlington, Ontario. Indigo instantly becomes a place that reflects the best of a small proprietor-run shop bundled with the selection of a true emporium.
1999
Chapters Online becomes a publicly traded company, separate from Chapters Inc.
2000
Indigo expands to 14 locations across Canada and opens its online store, indigo.ca
2000
Trilogy Retail Enterprises L.P. announces its intent to purchase a controlling interest in Chapters Inc.
2001
Chapters and Indigo officially merge to form the largest book retailer in Canada under the corporate name Indigo Books & Music Inc.
2001
www.chapters.indigo.ca is created.
2003
Indigo makes music available online and ready to ship within 24 hours.
2004
Indigo establishes the Love of Reading Fund (now the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation), a charitable initiative dedicated to enhancing literacy and self-esteem in students, promoting learning opportunities, and supporting teachers and students in high-needs schools across Canada by providing new books and resources.
2004
Indigo launches the Junior Advisory Board, a team of Canada's best and brightest young readers, to provide their opinions on what youth want to read.
2005 /
2006
Indigo ranks as one of Canada's top 100 employers according to a MediaCorp survey published in Maclean's magazine.
2006
Indigo opens a new award winning store in Brossard, Québec. This new concept store is the largest bilingual bookstore in the Montréal area and features thematic boutiques to allow booklovers to easily identify each section.
2006
Indigo expands its product listing to include toys and opens new in-store toy departments at Yorkdale and Bayview Village locations in Toronto.
2008
Indigo launches the Indigo Online Community, boasting membership of over 275,000 booklovers in the first year and winning gold at the Canadian Marketing Awards for Social Media.
2008
chapters.indigo.ca is named to the Hot 100 Internet Websites list for 2008 by Internet Retailer.
2009
Indigo spins off its digital eReading division to form Kobo Inc., a global eReading company now operating in over 100 countries.
2010
Six superstores open across the country providing residents in Surrey, BC; Calgary, AB (2 new locations); Edmonton, AB; Milton, ON; and Laval, QC with award-winning book, toy and gift lover's havens in their communities.
2010
Indigo expands its IndigoKids departments in 30 locations continuing its strategy to position Indigo as the ultimate family-friendly destination and the largest specialty toy retailer in Canada. Total expanded IndigoKids sections top 54 across Canada.
2010
Kobo launches its first eReader in the spring and releases a Wi-Fi enabled eReader in the Fall, allowing booklovers to download books on the go.
2011
Indigo launches its free, points based plum rewards loyalty program. The program rewards members for their purchases with unique experiences, personal recommendations and points redeemable for in-store savings. Within six months of launch membership approaches two million. Visit indigo.ca/plumrewards for details.
2011
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation grants another $1.5 million to high-needs elementary schools across Canada, bringing total donations through the Literacy Fund program to more than $10.5 million. Visit www.loveofreading.org for more information.
2011
Kobo launches the Touch Edition eReader.

With one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world, Kobo builds its membership to 5.6 million readers in over 100 countries.

Indigo agrees to the sale of its global eReading service Kobo Inc. to Rakuten Inc., one of the world's leading Internet companies, for US$315 million. Indigo expects to receive approximately US$140 million to US$150 million from the proceeds of the sale.


Dedicated to telling stories and creating experiences, Indigo continues to enrich the lives of its customers with books, eBooks, specialty toys, gifts and lifestyle enhancing products that offer quality, beauty and timeless design at its 247 stores nationally and online at indigo.ca. Books remain at the core of Indigo's business as Canada's largest purveyor of ideas and inspiration.