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Indigo Closing Chapters Book Store on Rideau Street in Downtown Ottawa to Relocate to CF Rideau Centre [Renderings]

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Indigo Books & Music is closing its Chapters store on Rideau Street in Ottawa to open a new Indigo banner store in the city’s CF Rideau Centre and it will be the retailer’s newest large-format store.

Peter Ruis

The store is scheduled to open by the fall of this year.

“We are thrilled to offer our Ottawa customers an exceptional new destination store, which will include the curated assortment of books our customers trust us for, but also more lifestyle products and inspiring displays,” said Peter Ruis, President, Indigo, in a news release.

“This store will debut our most innovative design concept, and allow our ‘Life, on Purpose’ proposition to truly come alive.”

Indigo at CF Rideau Centre (Rendering: Indigo)

Melanie Sanderson, the creative lead for the store’s design, worked with a design agency to create a store that the company described as “inviting, inspiring and curated.”

Mel Sanderson

“I was born and raised in Ottawa and quickly became a regular of the Chapters on Rideau from a young age,” said Sanderson in a news release. “This was a labour of love because I know the staff, customers and community, so it was important that we designed this store with them in mind.”

The Rideau Street location has been around since 1996.

Regarding hiring, Indigo is offering positions to its existing staff, and people can always visit the careers page on indigo.ca to stay updated on hiring opportunities

Chapters Rideau in Ottawa – Image: Dustin Fuhs

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., as it exists today, was created in August 2001 with the merger with Chapters Inc. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, it employs approximately 5,000 people across Canada.

As of April 2, it operated 88 superstores under the banners Chapters and Indigo and 85 small format stores, under the banners Coles and Indigospirit. It also operates www.indigo.ca, a popular online destination offering millions of products including books, eBooks, toys, stationery, home décor, gourmet confections, electronics, and more.

“Averaging over 22,000 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,” says the company on its website.

In June, Indigo reported financial results for the 52-week period ended April 2, 2022 compared to the 53-week period ended April 3, 2021. Revenue increased $157.6 million or 17.4 per cent to $1.06 billion from $904.7 million last year. 

Indigo at CF Rideau Centre (Rendering: Indigo)

“These top-line results also outperformed the preceding three fiscal years including the pre-COVID year. These results were achieved amidst challenging operational and market conditions that included rolling store closures in the Company’s first quarter and the re-emergence of severe pandemic conditions from the Omicron wave during its seasonally important third quarter,” it said in a news release.

“The success of the Company’s product strategy and strong revenue performance drove the Company’s return to profitability, with adjusted EBITDA of $32.5 million and net earnings of $3.3 million, an improvement of $60.8 million and $61.2 million, respectively. Revenue growth was driven by the success of Indigo’s omnichannel business, with the first good push of recovery delivered by the Company’s retail channel and an ecommerce business that nearly doubled since the onset of the pandemic. Specifically, the online channel sustained incremental growth of 98 per cent to fiscal 2020 sales levels. 

“Demonstrating evolving omnichannel behaviours, Indigo’s digital platforms are also increasingly where customers begin product discovery, bolstering in-store conversion. Demand in the Company’s core book business notably lifted by eight per cent, fueled by the popularity of reading on TikTok. Customers’ strong reception to the Company’s expanding general merchandise offering further buoyed results, with assortment expansion driving sales growth at or above 30 per cent for its lifestyle and baby categories.” 

Commenting on the results, CEO Heather Reisman stated: “As a business, we were relentlessly focused on evolving and driving performance – which together with Canadians’ affinity for the Indigo brand – yielded the beginning of improved results. This COVID period though challenging, has spurred creative thinking and we are energized by the opportunities ahead of us.” 

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Interesting design – very different than the dark interiors of most of the recently renovated stores. I really like the current store designs but neat that they’re trying something different. Looking more and more like a department store.

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