Barnes and Noble experimented with a few different prototype stores in the past few years. They focused on primarily adding a full restaurant experience where people can buy food and drinks and read their favorite book. This week they are opening up a new prototype store in Vernon Hills Chicago.
The 17,400-square-foot store will feature oak bookshelves and wood grain tile floors. It will have two “book theaters” where customers can check out new books, a new children’s section with plush chairs and Lego playlets, more lounge space and a 700-square-foot flexible space for book signings and other events.
Staff at the new store will be equipped with tablets to be able to assist customers anywhere in the store. Self-serve kiosks throughout the store will enable customers to research and locate books throughout the store.
Carl Hauch, vice president, stores, for Barnes & Noble: “The new store will combine the best of what we’ve learned from our other new stores, and we can’t wait to open our doors and showcase our full assortment of books, as well as the selection of educational toys and games, family games and puzzles and curated gift items for avid readers.”
The new stores come as Barnes & Noble launches a formal review process to “evaluate strategic alternatives” for the chain, said the company, which some reports said is exploring a sale.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.