Barnes and Nobles Eyes New Strategy

It’s no secret that brick and mortar retail stores overall have declining sales. Technology and convenience rule the day and that comes in the form of online shopping and deliveries right to your door. For many retailers, the simple model of rising costs and falling sales means that the only option is usually to close down store locations and start a push for online services.

Demos Parneros, CEO of Barnes and Noble Booksellers, however, sees things differently. In a recent interview with Fortune, Parneros speculated that close-competitor Amazon is going from being exclusively an online retailer to opening its own brick and mortar stores, so it may not be the worst business to be in. Currently, Barnes and Noble has 634 locations and while Parneros is not prepared to close all of those locations, he is testing out some new strategies to help increase traffic.

One of his more out-of-the-box ideas is the “Bar & Noble” concept, which would be a smaller physical store that features beer, wine and food. With the success of a partnership such as with Starbucks, the hope with this option is to attract a new clientele and increase overall foot traffic. A smaller store with a more limited collection would help bring operating costs down, too.

If you have been to a Barnes and Noble recently, you may have also noticed that they have expanded their option beyond books and CDs. They have a growing selection of games, vinyl figures from all forms of pop culture and gifts. Parneros is encouraged by the success of this program and seeks to refresh and refine it, but will continue to use it to help his overall business.

Lastly, the Nook e-reader currently has a central location at the front of the store, which is taking up a prime location. There is a consideration to move it to a different location to free up that space.

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