ABC - Barnes & Noble hopes that booze will lure book lovers back to its stores.
The New York bookseller says it is opening four “concept” stores in the next year that will feature restaurants with an expanded menu including beer and wine. The first concept store will open in Eastchester, New York, in October, followed by locations in Edina, Minnesota; Folsom, California, and Loudon, Virginia.
You said it, Homer. Alcohol. The solution to all of life’s problems. And when you’re a brick or mortar book store on it’s last legs, you dig down deep and pull out the last play in the book- alcohol. When you’re stumped in life what do you do? Lament about it over a beer. When you’re feeling good about life, what do you do? Celebrate with alcohol. When you’re down in the dumps and your stock is at 11, down from 28 at this point last year, and is showing no signs of life, what do you do? Add alcohol. If you bring beer into any situation, it automatically gets better. It’s just a known fact of life. Beer and wine bring all the bookworms to the yard.
Big stores like B&N are a dying breed. There is a reason Best Buy just closed a ton of stores and is commonly referred to as the “Amazon Showroom”. JC Penny? Sears? Fuhgettaboutit. It’s a new day, yes it is, and the Internet and technology rules the world. You no longer need to go into a store to buy pretty much anything. And that doubles for books. You can carry 10,000 books around on a device as thin as a sheet of paper, it just makes way more sense than buying one off a shelf. There will always be people who enjoy the physical copy of a book. But you can get those off Amazon with the click of a mouse. No need to get into your car and drive somewhere. But if that bookstore doubled as a bar? I see merit in that. The people who try to get you to sign petitions outside of the Student Union would be all over it. Talking about their craft beers and what new coming of age feminist novel they are reading, it’s a 22 year old girl/dudes who wear fedoras dream come true.
Will it work? Of course not. Barnes and Noble has been dead for 10 years. But I admire them taking a shot at revival here. Just too little, way too late to save them.