Barnes & Noble Opening Four New Concept Stores That Sell Beer & Wine
The giant bookseller said during its presentation for investors it would test market four of its redesigned stores late in 2016 that feature large areas for cafes that offer beer and wine and an expanded menu, along with service at the table.
The company’s goal is to increase traffic in the stores and grow the sales of both food and beverage from less than 10% of the total sales of the retailer to a large pillar within the business.
The first of four concept stores will be opened in October in Eastchester, New York, that will be followed by stores in Edina, Minnesota, Loudon, Virginia and Folsom, California.
It is not difficult to see the reason Barnes & Noble is moving in this direction. The consumer has been spending large sums dining out, even as retailers in malls and big box stores struggle to bring in sales.
A key part to the strategy of B&N of late is growth in categories that are outside of the core book business that has been grappling for years with increased competition from the likes of Amazon.com and other online booksellers.
Through offering beer, wine and American-style shareable food, the company is looking to expand the hours in the day that the café remains relevant to its shoppers.
The current café offerings are centered round coffee and the cafes will keep serving drinks from Starbucks as well as their sweets.
However, the revamped design is aimed at making B&N a competitor for dinnertime spending, not only for morning and afternoon coffee pick me ups.
In a number of ways, B&N’s plan is a reflection of the broader changes afoot in retailing at the brick and mortar level. To give shoppers more of a reason to visit their stores, rather that shopping online, chains are trying to give their customers a better experience in the store.
That is why yoga wear retailer Lululemon Athletica is offering exercises classes and why Samsung opened a location in New York that features a deejay and tunnel that is walkable where the walls will light up with your own selfies.
B&N hopes that readers will want to linger over an interesting title with a cold beer or glass of wine, which will make them feel welcome or like at home.