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FSR Magazine: Can Restaurants Give Barnes & Noble a Boost?

After years of decreasing sales, B&N is experimenting with new, customer-attracting concepts.

By the turn of 2017, Barnes & Noble had launched three full-service kitchens at stores in the northeast, California and Minnesota. This latest experimentation is a direct response of the book retailer’s year over year dip in sales. The brand’s sales fell to $4.1 billion in 2016 from $4.3 billion in 2015. It’s also cut its retail stores from 691 in four years ago to 640 locations in 2016.

“Organizations need to challenge themselves to change, be creative, embrace new challenges and enrich their offerings. If it’s just the same old thing, they become stale,” said David Deason, the Dallas-based vice president or development. He says that the brand’s move towards restaurants isn’t that surprising, given that B&N has been operating coffee shops sourced by Starbucks products for the past 28 years. “We are the second largest coffee shop [in the U.S.],” says Deason.

The new B&N Kitchens will operate from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., the same hours as the bookstore is open, and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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