The last of its kind
Barnes & Noble may not be trending as the most progressive or popular company out there, but as the last remaining national bookstore chain in America, one thing they are is tenacious. The company has recently taken that tenacity and started another business venture: prototype stores that merge bookstores and restaurant.
Book nerds merge with foodies
Barnes & Noble predicted in 2013 that they would be closing a sobering amount of stores, but they’ve actually closed fewer stores than planned and are now going to add restaurants to keep their doors open. This isn’t like the typical Starbucks’s we’re accustomed to seeing in their bookstores either, there will actually be no signs of scones or coffee, but a full service restaurant complete with wine. Yes, wine.
These hybrid book stores (with wine) will be available to consumers October ’16 with the first store located in Eastchester, NY. The rest of the stores will be rolled out at the end of the ’17 fiscal year, located in area’s including the Edina Galleria in Edina, MN, the Palladio in Folsom, CA, and at One Loudon in Loudon, VA. These areas were chosen because they contain a more upscale market with customers that might enjoy a book, a meal, and glass of wine at the same time.
Competition is key
Currently, Barnes & Noble has just above 600 stores in the U.S. and although they are the largest physical bookstore to date, they still have widespread competition to outsmart; which justifies these prototype stores. Books-a-Million is the only other physical bookstore and is Barnes & Noble’s biggest rival, other competitors include general retailers like Amazon, along with regional and independent booksellers.
In addition to outsmarting the competition, Barnes & Noble has to also capture the eye of a generation that are too busy with work, life, kids, or reading AG articles, to sit down and read a book.
You all go try it out, Gretchen and I will pass
Barnes & Noble’s new layout is out of the ordinary for the typical bookstore goer, but is definitely worth a try. The new restaurant merger, if executed right, will provide more diverse revenue opportunity for the company and a more social environment for readers.
I can’t, however, say with confidence that I’ll take advantage of the merger; any time I see a Barnes & Noble, I’m conditioned to think of Mean Girls. But when I try to comprehend the now possibility of being mid-food-and-book, I remember Gretchen and her Barnes & Noble incident and just can’t commit.
But let us know how it is!