Indigo is a huge Canadian bookstore chain, and they’ve opened their first United States location in Short Hills, NJ. It happens to be right by where I work, so I swung by on my way home today to check it out…and, well, Indigo is best described as an experience, not a store.
So here’s the thing about Indigo: it’s a store that’s more than just a bookstore. It’s the place you go where you might want a book, but you’re also looking for a good housewarming gift for your new neighbor, and also you could really use a throw rug, and a new coffee mug, and maybe an essential oil diffuser. Oh, and a pot and a cutting board to go with your cookbook. Indigo is basically like a bookstore, Crate and Barrel, Best Buy’s register area, and the kid’s section at Target all trying to occupy the same space at the same time.
It sounds chaotic, but it’s actually really nice. The store is clean, the aisles are wide, and while it is a lot of disparate stuff all under one roof, it flows well. It makes complete sense to have cookware with cookbooks, and essential oils with alternative medicine books. And outside of those specialty areas, the rest of the bookstore section is just a straight bookstore. I love ebooks, I always will, but there’s something so magical and comforting about just so many shelves and shelves of books everywhere.
Short Hills is definitely a good place for Indigo. It’s a mall where you can buy a Tesla, Qdoba, a Burberry bag, and while you’re wandering, you can learn exactly what happens when someone looks at a Porsche Carerra and says “Great car, but could it maybe come in camo?” It’s a little bit of everything, as long as you’re willing to drop a fair amount of money. That’s basically Indigo. It’s what Barnes and Noble wishes it could be when it grows up!