The first Indigo location opened in Burlington Ontario in 1997, created with the desire to bring a unique cultural destination to the Canadian retail marketplace. Indigo Books & Music Inc. ("Indigo"), as it exists today, was created in August 2001 upon the merger with Chapters Inc. Indigo has evolved to become the world’s first cultural department store with locations in all 10 provinces and one territory and also offers an award-winning online experience at indigo.ca. Indigo is now Canada's largest purveyor of ideas and inspirations to enrich your life, with books and eReading, specialty toys, gifts, and lifestyle enhancing products that affordably offer intrinsic quality, beauty and timeless design. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, the Company employs over 6,100 people across Canada. Indigo is a public company, traded on the TSX under the symbol IDG.
As of May 31, 2016, the Company operated 89 superstores under the banners Chapters and Indigo and 123 small format stores, under the banners Coles, Indigo, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and The Book Company. The Company also operates indigo.ca, a popular online destination offering millions of products including books, eBooks, toys, stationery, home décor, gourmet confections, electronics, and more.
Averaging 22,287 square feet, Indigo’s large format stores are designed to be destinations for culture-seekers, offering an inspiring environment conducive to browsing and community-building. Small format stores are typically located in retail shopping centres, street-front retail areas, major airports and central business districts.
The need to understand, connect and engage with customers is deeply important to Indigo. The Company’s two loyalty programs reflect the strong focus placed on generating long term engagement from its best customers. Indigo’s loyalty programs include: the irewards program, an annual fee-based program; and the plum rewards program, a free points-based program.
The plum rewards program offers customers points for every dollar spent online or in store which can be redeemed in either channel. The plum program offers members the opportunity to earn points faster by taking advantage of bonus point promotions and targeted promotional offers. Among other exclusive offers, plum rewards members can take advantage of invitations to special events and personalized inspirational book and product recommendations. The irewards program offers members a discount on books and other non-book merchandise for an annual fee.
Books and book products are the Company’s core products with approximately 500,000 book titles currently available. The Company continues to support eReading via the Kobo service on a variety of devices available to Canadians. Indigo customers can find eBooks on indigo.ca, which links directly to the Kobo site for purchase.
Indigo is a one-stop destination for gifts to touch the heart, mind and soul. The Company continues to develop and expand its proprietary gift and lifestyle merchandise as part of its focus to provide customers with increasingly meaningful and life enriching merchandise while improving operating margins. To support this initiative, Indigo opened a design office in New York which develops proprietary merchandise exclusively for Indigo and is available both in-store at all large format locations and online at indigo.ca.
In 2009 Indigo began a full expansion of its burgeoning kids and toy business with a focus on books, creative play and specialty toys. As of May 31, 2016, the Company offers the IndigoKids experience in all 89 large format locations. A further expanded assortment of books, toys, birthday gift ideas and loot bag essentials is also available online at indigo.ca.
IndigoKids is proud to offer a free in-store gift wrap service for all kids’ gifts.
Indigo is also the exclusive retailer of American Girl® in Canada. In 2014, the Company launched Canada’s first American Girl specialty boutiques within IndigoKids in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Today, Indigo operates seven American Girl specialty boutiques across Canada, reinforcing the Company’s commitment to serve as the leading specialty kids’ book and toy retailer in the country.
Through its Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, the Company is committed to addressing the underfunding of Canadian elementary school libraries and the resulting literacy challenges children face in such schools. The Foundation’s goal is to raise awareness of the lack of funding in Canadian schools and close the budget gap by providing the necessary new books and educational resources to high-needs elementary schools. The Foundation accomplishes this goal through its annual Literacy Fund grant of $1.5 million and its grassroots Adopt a School program which unites Indigo staff, local schools and their communities to raise money for new and engaging books for elementary school libraries. With the support of Indigo, its customers, employees and suppliers, the Foundation has invested over $23.5 million into more than 2,600 elementary schools across Canada since 2004.
In addition to our children’s literacy cause, Indigo hosts in-store and online FUNdraisers to support schools and community groups in their fundraising efforts. Through both in-store events and online campaigns this past year, Indigo has helped more than 578 community organizations raise over $245,500.
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