Sneak Peek: Indigo to Open New Concept Store

Canadian book and lifestyle retailer Indigo Books & Music Inc. will open a new concept this fall. RIS gives details on the tech inside.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Canada's leading book and lifestyle retailer Indigo Books & Music Inc. will open a new concept store this fall that it calls a “radically different” shopping experience.

The company operates retail stores in all ten provinces and one territory in Canada, and also has retail operations in the United States through a wholly owned subsidiary, operating one retail store in Short Hills, NJ.

The new 16,000-square-foot urban concept store will open at The Well in the King West neighborhood of Toronto. The store will have books at its core, but the company is transforming its product assortment, digital ecosystem, and in-store experiences with the goal of helping customers “live their lives on purpose.”

“We know our customers love the current Indigo stores, but we also know the world is changing and people are craving more meaningful experiences that get them closer to their passions,” Peter Ruis, CEO, Indigo, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to offer our customers an elevated experience that is much more than a shop. This will be a destination and social meeting place, celebrating the best of what Indigo does; Books, Music, Fashion and Culture – it will be a total lifestyle emporium.”

The new store design, developed by UK-based brand innovation studio Dalziel & Pow will offer an edited selection of Indigo’s curated assortment of books, along with a new heightened focus on lifestyle products and in-store experiences. There with be several technological features in addition to immersive shoppable product vignettes; a vinyl record shop featuring a jukebox and curated selection of books; a gourmet coffee truck; and a plant shop with live plants, pots and books.

The store will also feature digital screens showcasing rotating art, meant to capture customers’ attention as they walk by and reinforce Indigo’s commitment to celebrating artists and authors, Melissa Perri, Sr. manager, public relations, Indigo, tells RIS.

A touchscreen book recommendation tool will feature adult and kids’ books sorted by genre “to help customers select their next great read for themselves or for someone else,” Perri says. Customers will be able to utilize the touchscreen to navigate through various themes and book titles. The list will be refreshed quarterly to ensure that the selection stays fresh and current, and themes will include: Best of the Year So Far, Set in Toronto, Eat Local, Teen and Young Adult.

Indigo has also partnered with Fujifilm on a Selfie Wall at The Well, says Perri, providing customers in-store access to the Fujifilm GetPix Quick Kiosk to upload photos from their device and print them in four steps for $.39 cents each.

Additionally, part of an outstanding in store experience is a connected workforce. To keep frontline workers engaged and improve the customer experience, Indigo is tapping Quinyx, an AI-driven workforce management software providing technology that simplifies scheduling, time reporting, communication, budgeting, and forecasting. “Quinyx's forecasting capabilities will help us allocate the right labor at the right time so that our associates are working where they are needed most,” says Perri. “Our retail staff will be equipped with powerful, intuitive tools which will enable them to have more control over their work schedules and unleash their full potential.”

Beyond thoughtful details inside, the location of the new store was also carefully chosen. The concept behind The Well development is a unique mix of shops, restaurants, a fresh food market, workspaces, and residences that aim to set the stage for innovative collaborations in culture, entertainment, community and wellness. “This location is a perfect fit and is in total harmony with our vision. Indigo will be at the forefront of creating an experiential destination, adding value for residents and visitors to this new vibrant community,” said Ruis.