After a long gap, Barnes & Noble opens another concept store — their sixth — in the mall in Columbia, MD today. The 17,000-square-foot store features a new design for their cafe, now at the front of the store without any walls or barriers, and the cookbook section is right next to it. As the local Patch report notes, “There are three community tables throughout the bookstore, a concept which is part of the new prototype.” (From the pictures, two of those are in that large open cafe.)
Sales staff will have tablets to help customers find merchandise, and there are self-serve kiosks on the floor as well. BN vp, stores Carl Hauch says in a statement, “We’ve learned a great deal from each new store we’ve opened over the past few years and the new Columbia store represents a culmination of what we’ve learned so far.” He described the design approach as “a modern, contemporary bookstore.” Plans for the store were first reported in spring 2017.