Sunday, June 26, 2016

Soon You'll Be Able To Drink Wine And Beer At Some Barnes & Noble Stores

Here's a reason to raise your glass -- some Barnes & Noble stores will soon be serving meals and alcohol.

The major book retailer on Thursday announced plans to open four new "concept stores," which will include restaurants with waitstaff and breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, in an effort to boost its struggling sales.

The restaurants will also serve drinks, but that's not to say bookworms will soon meet tequila worms. The planned drinks menu is said to feature only beer and wine.

The first location will open this October in Eastchester, New York, about 30 miles north of New York City. It will also offer a bocce court, a fire pit and outdoor seating, The Journal News reports.

Similar stores will appear at the Galleria in Edina, Minnesota; at Palladio in Folsom, California; and at One Loudoun in Ashburn, Virginia.

"We wanted to create a better bookstore," Jaime Carey, Barnes & Noble's president of development and the restaurant group, told Fortune. “We think they're going to drive traffic to the store and [be] keeping them in the store longer.”

Carey noted that many Barnes & Noble locations already have cafes that feature Starbucks sweets, sandwiches and beverages.

"We said, let's have a much better food experience frankly," Carey said.

The retailer appears to be taking a page out of Starbucks' own playbook. The coffee chain in 2014 began offering "Starbucks Evenings" at select stores, featuring wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres.

Barnes & Noble's news came just a day after the retailer reported a drop in sales in its fourth quarter report. Though the company's stock price took a tumble the same day its fiscal earnings were reported, it rebounded following the announcement of the concept stores and two executive appointments. 

The company, which touts itself as the nation's largest retail bookseller, operates 640 stores in 50 states.

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