Strategy, Branding, Graphics, Interiors, Custom Furniture and Lighting
Barnes & Noble
Never judge a book
by its cover.
Responding to the continued momentum in online shopping, Barnes & Noble turned to Brand Bureau to reframe the role of their retail stores to strengthen their loyal customer base, while introducing the brand’s value to new audiences.
With the continued shift away from brick and mortar shopping, Barnes & Noble realized that it had to adapt to changing consumer habits. Creating a space that would draw consumers in and shift their perceptions of a traditional bookstore presented unique challenges.
Incorporating hospitality into a decidedly retail-based environment, Brand Bureau provided Barnes & Noble with an in-store bar, cafe, and restaurant, transforming a conventional bookstore into a dynamic and flexible “third space,” and encouraging their customers to slow down and stay awhile.
We identified a clear space in the market for a casual day-through-night hangout in suburban communities—where social gathering, creative enrichment, and diverse programming is encouraged—setting Barnes & Noble apart from both small and large retailers.
The space brings together custom furniture inspired by American arts and crafts movement, graphics and art intended to bring a level of warmth and storytelling, and brand materials that evoke the spirit of the ‘Modern Maker.’ The redesigned spaces are both welcoming and unpretentious. From a conversation lounge, to a family dining area, to tucked-away café tables, the space responds to diverse customer desires, encouraging guests to linger and enjoy their favorite book over a cup of coffee during the day or a glass of wine at night.
The partnership with Barnes & Noble elevated the brand from beloved bookseller to integral community resource, creating a sense of home, and playing a pivotal role in locals’ day-to-day lives. This new scalable model challenged the consumer mentality to simply ‘be in’ rather than ‘buy in’ the store. While most retailers aim to shuttle customers quickly in the door and through the purchasing process, Barnes & Noble, with its warm new aesthetic and subtle shift in spatial dynamics, beckons people to “slow down and stay awhile.”