Indigo Books & Music reported that its net loss for the second quarter ended September 28, 2013 increased to C$10.1 million from C$4.0 million in last year’s second quarter due to a combination of a 3.3% drop in revenue and higher investments in areas ranging from digital initiatives to new merchandising efforts. The retailer said it planned to continue to invest in its stores and to save cash for the programs it is suspending its dividend.
Much of the investment will go to opening more !indigotech shops. The company had opened 12 “shop within shops” by the end of the second quarter and plans to open 20 more before the holiday season. The shops feature design-inspired lifestyle electronics and accessories and initial response has been encouraging enough to prompt a larger rollout.
Indigo attributed the revenue decline in the second period primarily to the strong sales of Fifty Shades and Hunger Games trilogies last year and the net loss of nine stores. Excluding revenue from the trilogies, revenue increased 0.3% from the same quarter last year as Indigo continued to experience double-digit growth in lifestyle, paper, and toy sales.
On a comparable store basis, Indigo and Chapters superstores posted a 2.8% decrease in revenue, while Coles and IndigoSpirit small format stores were down 8.2%. Excluding the blockbuster titles, comparable store sales increased 0.1% in superstores and 0.6% in small format stores. Online sales increased 3.3% to C$18.7 million from C$18.1 million for the same period last year.
For the first half of the year revenue fell to C$350.9 million from C$372.2 million and the net loss rose to C$25.1 million from C$9.5 million.