!ndigo Books & Music has announced plans to open three to five stores in the United States over the next 24 months as a test for future expansion. Announced in a quarterly earnings conference call, !ndigo describes its stores as "cultural department store for booklovers."
"The company will bring its unique assortment of life-enriching experecce to test the largest retailing market in the world," said !ndigo in a prepared statement, "and strive to replicate its Canadian success by creating a joyful, addictive omni-channel experience as well as the ultimate community for booklovers to experience educational entertainment and in-store programming."
!ndigo's first U.S. store is slated to be at the Short Hills Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey, taking over a 30,000 sq. ft. location formerly occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue.
CEO Heather Reisman said future expanion past these initial three to five stores will depend on performance of these initial test markets.
Founded in 1996, !ndigo owns and operates 90 superstores and 126 small format stores in Canada under its own name, as well as the names Chapters, Coles, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and the Book Company. With a total of 216 stores (not counting the 3 to 5 slated to open by 2019), !ndigo books is the third-largest North American general trade bookstore chain behind Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.