The second of B&N's latest string of "concept stores" opened on Tuesday in New Jersey. It looks quite similar to the one that opened outside Chicago last month.
The description on NorthJersey.com sounds like a cross between the Chicago store and the B&N restaurants.
Barnes & Noble's first prototype store in New Jersey will open its doors Wednesday morning.
The new-concept store at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack features a sleek design, a smaller footprint and, of course, a self-serve kiosk for tech-savvy book lovers who want to browse their favorite titles on their own. The revamped store will replace the mall's much-larger Barnes & Noble, and is one of only eight nationwide.
At 19,111 square feet, the store is much smaller than the usual two-level oases that regular customers are accustomed to. Company officials say the downsizing offers the bookstore a chance to curate its collection better and makes it easier for customers to navigate.
A notable change in the prototype store is its lack of a customer service counter at its center. In older Barnes & Noble stores, booksellers may have been stationed at that counter to help shoppers. Now, customers have the option to find titles on their own at a self-serve kiosk or be assisted by employees equipped with tablets on the floor.
Kids and teens have proved to be a successful customer base for Barnes & Noble, officials said. That's why the new store features two spaces for children to read and play, including a children’s section with a Lego activity table enclosed in a "jungle gym” display feature, which officials said is unique to this prototype.
B&N is also opening an 8600 square foot store in Fairfax, VA, in June, and it plans to open a handful of concept stores elsewhere.
The majority of its stores, however, have not been adapted to any of the new concepts, and B&N has not said when or if that will happen,