Update: Indigo Books to Expand via Indigo Branding, But Current Chapters Locations to Remain ‘Chapters’

*We’re updating our article from earlier in the week, where we discussed Chapters Bookstores being rebranded as Indigo. We just spoke with a company representative, Janet Eger, who informs us that although all future stores company locations will be branded as Indigo, current Chapters stores won’t be rebranded at this time. Our previous article is below.*

Last Week, an article in Business in Vancouver confirmed that Chapters Bookstore locations will be re-branded as Indigo. The same article indicates that Indigo may open this summer in the heart of Vancouver’s retail ‘luxury zone’ at Alberni and Thurlow Streets, replacing a Robson Street flagship which will eventually be replaced by Sport Chek

Chapters Inc. was formed in 1995 with the merge of SmithBooks and Coles. It became Canada’s largest book retailer, operating bookstores in all provinces. In 1996, Indigo Books & Music was created. In 1997, Indigo opened its first location, called Indigo Books Music & more, in Burlington, Ontario. In 2001, Chapters and Indigo officially merged to form the largest book retailer in Canada under the corporate name Indigo Books & Music Inc.

In 2006, Indigo expanded its product listing to include toys and opened new in-store toy departments at Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Bayview Village locations in Toronto.

Headquartered in Toronto, Indigo employs over 6,500 people across Canada. Indigo is a public company, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IDG. The company operates about 90 superstores (averaging 24,000 square feet) under the banners Chapters and Indigo, as well as 130 small format stores under the banners Coles, Indigo, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and The Book Company. The Company also operates indigo.ca, offering millions of products including books, eBooks, toys, stationery, home décor, gourmet confections, CDs, DVDs, and more.

In 2009, the company created and launched the global eReading service, Kobo. With one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world, Kobo has since driven its membership to over 6 million readers in 100 countries. In November 2011, Indigo sold Kobo to Rakuten Inc., one of the world’s leading internet service companies, for US$315 million. Indigo received US$146 million from the proceeds of the sale.

Indigo has expanded beyond carrying just books. Stores now carry a variety of categories for adults and children including toys, gifts, home goods, paper products, electronics and even American Girl doll boutiques in three of its stores. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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