In a bid to attract more store visits, Barnes & Noble is expanding its retail bookstores by adding a full-service restaurant to select locations. Soon, customers at four concept stores located in Eastchester, New York; Edina, Minnesota; Folsom, California; and Loudoun, Virginia will be able to wine and dine right in the B&N bookstore.
This announcement continues the ongoing trend of brick-and-mortar retailers enriching their in-store experiences with add-on services to lure shoppers into stores. Supermarkets such as Whole Foods and ShopRite are now offering bike-repair services and fitness classes, respectively, at some stores, and brands like Bandier are designing retail stores as a community space that encourages customers to hang out.
What Retailers Need To Do
Although growth in ecommerce has outpaced that of physical retail, brick-and-mortar retailers still hold one obvious advantage over online shops: unique in-store experiences that are hard to replicate online. By bringing restaurants into its bookstores, Barnes & Noble is giving book-lovers a good reason to visit their stores and stay longer, while also gaining a new revenue source. For retailers, this type of experiential retail should inspire new ways to create an engaging in-store experience that attracts shoppers.