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A growing interest in reading and at-home entertainment for kids during the pandemic has helped Indigo Books & Music Inc. to a narrower loss in its second quarter.

The Toronto-based retailer reported a net loss of $17.5-million for the 13 weeks ended Sept. 26, compared to a $20.5-million net loss in the same period last year. Like most brick-and-mortar stores, Indigo has seen foot traffic remain low as regions across the country continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, while its online sales more than doubled in the quarter, growing by 113.6 per cent.

Indigo’s revenue was roughly flat, growing by nearly 1 per cent in the second quarter to $205.3-million.

Indigo has been continuing to cut costs as it seeks to bring the business back to profitability – all while coping with the lingering effects of lockdowns during the summer and ongoing physical-distancing restrictions in its stores and warehouses.

The company has also been preparing for a busy holiday season that is expected to put a strain on shipping logistics as customers do more of their shopping via e-commerce. Indigo recently launched in-store and curbside pickup for online orders, and announced a partnership with delivery service Instacart to offer same-day delivery in the Greater Toronto Area.

“The holidays are going to be challenging,” Indigo CEO Heather Reisman said in an interview with the Globe and Mail in September. “No matter what, you’re not going to see stores as busy as they were.”

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Follow Susan Krashinsky Robertson on Twitter: @susinskyOpens in a new window

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