Barnes & Noble to launch 'digital-physical' store

Barnes & Noble to launch 'digital-physical' store

Barnes and Noble has revealed plans to launch a new "prototype" store later this year, a US conference has heard.

Speaking during the annual eTail West Conference in Palm Springs, California, Barnes & Noble c.e.o. Ron Boire, revealed that the bookselling chain was working on the creation of a bricks and mortar store that integrates online elements.

According to Publishers Weekly, the company has not given any specifics on the size, location or opening date beyond the calendar year 2016.

Boire said: “One of the challenges of that store is going to be the digital experience. I don’t think until you’re fully connected – mobile, desktop, and store – that you’re going to be providing the full experience. That’s our goal.”

During the conference, Boire also acknowledged problems with the Barnes and Noble website, which had been revamped over the summer but had been having problems that led to declining online sales in the second quarter. He said fixes to the site led to a better consumer experience over the holiday season.

Boire said the website and e-commerce would play an integral part in any attempt to launch a digital-physical bookstore.

Since taking over as c.e.o. last autumn, Boire has promised to develop an “omni-channel” approach for the chain going forward, one that would blend its retail, website and Nook businesses.