Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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B&N to open five ‘prototype’ stores

Barnes & Noble has announced it will open five ‘prototype stores’ after disappointing third-quarter sales, reports Publishers Weekly.

The ‘prototype stores’ will be 14,000 square feet (1300 square metres) in size, about 12,000 square feet (1115 square metres) smaller than usual B&N stores. CEO Demos Parneros said the smaller stores will be easier to staff and run, and fit better with the chain’s omnichannel sales approach.

Each store will have a café, but there are no plans to add to the existing five ‘kitchen stores’, which are larger and feature a small restaurant. The stores will also feature a curated assortment of non-book items across categories that have sold well, such as educational toys and games, with less emphasis on the categories that have sold less, like music and DVDs.

The opening of the new stores comes after a five percent drop in sales during the third quarter. The new stores are due to open in May, which marks the beginning of the fiscal year for the company.

In February, B&N announced cuts to staff after reporting disappointing holiday sales results, falling 6.4% compared to 2016. In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced that the dismissals were expected to save the company US$40 million (A$51.1 million) annually.

B&N hasn’t confirmed the number of staff affected by cuts, but the filing noted the chain will pay severance payments worth approximately US$11 million (A$14 million) in the current fiscal year.


Category: International news