Barnes and Noble to Enter the Restaurant Industry

Will expanding its food and drink offerings will give the bookseller an edge over online retailers?
B&N Cafe

Wikimedia Commons / Nightscream / CC BY 3.0

Barnes & Noble will test a revamped store design in four markets.

Barnes and Noble seems to have taken a page out of Urban Outfitters’ book, revealing plans to incorporate a full-service restaurant into its store model.

The store revamp reflects both a desire and necessity to set it apart from online retailers (cough, Amazon) by not only giving customers an excuse to stay in the store longer, but to create a tangible experience that is not possible via online shopping.

The company is testing the new concept in four pilot stores, located in Eastchester, New York; Edina, Minnesota; Folsom, California; and Loudoun County, Virginia.

“We wanted to create a better bookstore,” Jaime Carey, president of development and the restaurant group, told Fortune. “We already have a cafe, so we said let’s have a much better food experience frankly. We think they’re going to drive traffic to the store and keeping them in the store longer.”

In addition to standard café items, the concept stores will offer a full-service breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Barnes & Noble has even hired an executive chef.

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