Indigo, the “world’s first cultural department store”, has opened its 29,000-square-foot flagship at 1033 Robson Street.
The two-level space is organized in a “shop-within-a-shop” concept, and includes departments called Books, Wellness (health-related goods), Joy of the Table (cookbooks and kitchen items), A Room of Her Own (women's clothing, accessories, and beauty products), Home Beautiful (home décor), IndigoKids, and IndigoBaby, which will stock a large assortment of books, gifts, toys, and Indigo-designed lifestyle products. According to a media release, the Indigo flagship carries over 58,000 unique book titles.
Other features include an in-house Starbucks café and an art installation by celebrated Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky that aims to raise awareness about the environmental consequences of clear-cutting. (Burtynsky and Indigo have donated $25,000 each to the B.C.–based Ancient Forest Alliance as a show of support for the cause.) Designed by Toronto-based firm Burdifilek, the flagship will also play host to artist talks, author signings, community gatherings, and other events.
The launch of Indigo Robson marks the brand’s return to downtown Vancouver after the three-level Chapters flagship at 788 Robson Street was shuttered in early 2015. At the time, Indigo CEO Heather Reisman cited a major rent increase that would make the location unprofitable. Indigo, which merged with Chapters in 2001 to form Canada’s largest book retailer, opened a smaller Indigospirit bookstore at 816 Granville Street in August 2015.
“We are thrilled to be back on Robson Street to share our new retail concept with our passionate customers,” Reisman said in a press statement. “As a proudly Canadian company, we are committed to providing Vancouver's book-loving community with a unique, life-enriching retail experience.”
To celebrate the grand opening of Indigo Robson, the company will be hosting a series of events on Saturday and Sunday (November 3 and 4), which will include family-friendly activities like slime-making stations, live music, photobooth pop-ups, and toy demos.
Tessa Sam, local baker and author of Sweet Bake Shop: Delightful Desserts for the Sweetest of Occasions, and Jackie Kai Ellis, former owner of Beaucoup Bakery & Café and author of the memoir The Measure of My Powers, are also slated to make appearances. Full details and schedule are available on the Indigo website.
Founded in 1997, Indigo operates more than 200 locations across Canada under the banners Indigo, Chapters, Indigospirit, and Coles.