As big box retailers continue to be battered by e-commerce, Barnes & Noble is introducing a new concept on the North Shore that it hopes will keep customers coming to the store.
The giant bookstore chain this week will open a new prototype store in Vernon Hills that will lean into the store’s cafe and gathering space vibe. It’s one of several concept stores the chain has been rolling out nationwide, according to Chicago Business Journal.
The 17,400-square-foot store will feature oak bookshelves and wood grain tile floors. It will have two “book theaters” where customers can check out new books, a new children’s section with plush chairs and Lego playlets, more lounge space and a 700-square-foot flexible space for book signings and other events.
The new stores come as Barnes & Noble launches a formal review process to “evaluate strategic alternatives” for the chain, said the company, which some reports said is exploring a sale.