Today we’re going to talk about the new Indigo and Indigo Kids store that opened up earlier this Fall over at the Short Hills Mall – or as some call “The Mall at Short Hills” (right off Route 24 to the north of Route 22 in the eastern zone).

We don’t follow this type of retail musical chairs stuff like we used to, so it was news to us that Saks Fifth Avenue shuttered this location because they plan on opening up a “Flagship” over at that Xanadau, eh, American Dream mega complex over in the Meadowlands.

In the place of Saks, both Crate & Barrel and Indigo (and Indigo Kids) filled the space.

What is Indigo (and Indigo Kids?)

Well, for starters (and if you have the stomach for such carefully crafted – and virtuous – “words,”) here is what the Indigo Corporate website says about themselves and their vision:

'Indigo is the world’s first cultural department store — a physical and digital place inspired by and filled with books, ideas, beautifully designed products, and the creative people who help make it all happen. We believe in real books, living life fully and generously, being kind to each other and to the environment, and that stories — big and little — connect us. Indigo is here to be your place — for joyful moments of discovery and to connect with people who share your passion for reading, your belief in ideas, and your commitment to making the world a better and more beautiful place.'

► Click to expand and read the rest...

‘In becoming the world’s first cultural department store, this is the most exciting and creative time in our history. We want to share our particular brand of joyful moments and engaging products with as many likeminded global citizens as possible. We are now incredibly excited to be growing our U.S. presence, reaching out to new potential staff and customers who share our values.

Indigo Short Hills NJ

In 2018, Indigo opened its first U.S. location at The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, New Jersey. This opening is part of Indigo’s broader retail transformation strategy in which the Company is investing in its network, bringing to life the vision of a cultural department store for book lovers.’

Our initial (purely physical) observations? A bookstore with their own flavor.

Indigo (and Indigo Kids) first location in America – Short Hills, NJ

You can see Indigo’s corporate history here. It’s sort of a rapidly blown up operation. The “book” part was small – starting in 1940. However, in just the past two decades, via various mergers, acquisitions, and other bookkeeping mastery and well-timed investments – they have become a major player in the retail scene (in Canada).

They definitely have woven a social message into their whole operation. Par for the course heading into 2019, that is for sure.

Can bookstores like Indigo thrive in America?

For starters – we just briefly visited. Grabbed a cup of espresso (tasty) and perused mostly the kids section (Indigo Kids – like a separate section).

The bookstore part looked a lot more pleasing than Barnes & Noble.

They also have their own brand of paper products, etc.

With the downfall of most bookstores – maybe they have a chance with this “fresh” concept of theirs. Probably not hundreds or thousands of locations, but perhaps some well-planned spots would thrive. The market decides, right?

We’ll definitely be back to spend more time in this store to get a better feel.

Us? We rarely feel the need to buy NEW books. You can get most books on Amazon (click for our affiliate link if you want to support this publication) – USED for basically $4 delivered. And almost always in “next to new” condition. That is the issue bookstores have – and exactly why they add other high-profit items like fancy paper to their repertoire.

But others feel the price difference is negligible. And the “experience” of a bookstore may very well be worth it for many.

Map: Indigo at Short Hills Mall NJ

Below is a map. You can call them at (908)315-9696 for additional information if you wish.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.