Not only has Barnes & Noble opened several stores; they've also apparently released a custom app for the stores:
As we continue to pursue the next stage of growth, we are examining everything with an open minded view. Our new test stores are good example of this. We launched three test stores over the past year and continue to receive great feedback from our customers and book sellers. These test stores are smaller than our average store and feature a more intuitive store layout. They have better adjacencies and expanded food and hospitality offering and more omni-integration including an app that can help guide customers the location of a specific book, mobile checkout and advanced digital kiosk to help service customers.
Has anyone seen that app?
I can't find it in Google Play (where there are Nook apps, and B&N College apps, but no B&N app), and the only B&N app in iTunes is the latest version of an app they've had since 2009.
Do you think that new app is available only in the new stores? Have you visited one of the new stores?
Any first-hand reports would be deeply appreciated.
I would go myself, but the closest new B&N store won't open for several months. Based on the photos B&N shared with Eater, the new Eastchester store looks like a very nice restaurant.
It's not clear how the new restaurants are going to help B&N survive; restaurants have even tighter margins than bookstores, and a higher failure rate.
In any case, B&N sees the new stores as part of its everywhere policy:
We also see a big opportunity aligning our stores and digital offerings closer together. Our goal is to provide customers with any book, anywhere, any time, and in any format they choose. BN.com is an important component of our omni-channel offering to serve the customer. In our experience, a multi-channel customer is a more engaged customer that shops all channels and our goal is to continue to improve the BN.com experience including the redesign of our desktop and mobile sites which will be a phased roll-out over the current fiscal year. The goal of this redesign is to create a better user experience, make discovery easier for our customers and increase conversion.
Basically B&N is discovering a policy in 2017 that it should have applied fifteen years ago.
Way to anticipate that iceberg, Barnes & Noble!
Thanks, Dave, for the tip!