B&N Edu took another step away from its college bookstore roots this week with the launch of a new partnership with Target.
Target will partner with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers to promote its college essentials products from Target.com.
In an investors call Wednesday morning, Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer with Target, said the move will bring Target's products to millions of additional students.
"For those campuses that aren’t lucky enough to have one of the new small-format stores, we’re partnering with Barnes & Noble College, which operates nearly 800 college stores around the country, to offer the Target assortment to more than 5 million students," Tritton said.
Lisa Malat, Chief Marketing Officer with Barnes & Noble College, said the program will promote Target's college essentials program and drive students to its website. A handful of Barnes & Noble College bookstores are also testing online-order pick-up of products students buy on Target's website.
Target's college essentials are the usual dorm room supplies sold by many retailers, including Amazon. Before the internet, college students would run out to a local drug store to buy what they needed; now they order from Amazon and pick the supplies up a few minutes later at one of Amazon's new Instant Pickup locations..
These are exactly the type of good that B&n will want to sell in its stores now that it is transitioning away from being a being a bookseller (there's not enough money in college textbooks any more).
Stage two for the Target B&NEdu partnership will likely include same day shipping to B&N stores - assuming Target can get the bugs worked out of the logistics.
image by Tony Webster