What Barnes & Noble Can Teach Small Brick and Mortars About Survival

To Survive, Set Your Business Apart From the Competition

Traditional retail stores are struggling right now. And that’s not great news for Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), a bookstore chain with 634 retail locations.

But the company isn’t going down without a fight. Once Amazon announced plans to open its own physical bookstore, the business saw it as validation brick and mortar stores can still succeed. And so they started thinking outside the box to create some positive changes and bring more customers through the doors.

First, the company is experimenting with a new feature in some stores called “Bar & Noble,” a section where customers can sit and order beer, wine and food. Secondly, the chain is also expanding its selection of other products aside from books — like games, toys and vinyl records. And finally, the company is moving the section for its Nook e-readers to a less prominent space in the store.

Some of these changes are pretty major. And others are smaller, but can still contribute to a better shopping experience for customers. So for other retail businesses, think of some changes, big or small, that you can make to create a better experience to attract more people in through your doors.

The Key? Set Your Business Apart From the Competition

It can be something as small as a seating area for customers to wait. Or it can be a big change like a whole new line of merchandise. But anything you can do to better the experience and set yourself apart from the competition can be a step in the right direction.

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Barnes & Noble Photo via Shutterstock

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. I love to browse around in Barnes and Noble. I always end up buying something. Glad they are sticking around.

  2. It is important to keep up with the times to survive. I saw several bookstores close in my area for it failed to keep up with the times.

    • There have been a lot of retail stores that haven’t been able to keep up and have paid the price for it.