Barnes & Noble is responding to what it calls a resurgence in sales with new store construction and a redesigned loyalty offering.
The bookseller, which opened more than 17 new stores during 2022 after only opening one or two new stores per year since 2009, plans to open more than 30 new stores during 2023. The openings include four new stores which have already opened since the start of the year.
According to the privately-held, New York City-based Barnes & Noble, it has been experiencing increasing sales, supported by “significant expansion of the market for physical books driven by word-of-mouth and social media recommendations.”
New loyalty program offers paid, free tiers
Barnes & Noble first launched its membership program in 2001. At its peak, over 12 million customers were enrolled. Now 22 years later, over which time it remained completely unchanged, Barnes & Noble is revamping the program with paid and free levels.
The new Premium Membership tier maintains a 10% discount in Barnes & Noble stores, and adds a 10% discount to online purchases and a new “spend-and-save” reward on all shopping. For every $10 spent in a purchase, one stamp is earned, and for every 10 stamps the customer receives a $5 reward.
In addition, Premium Membership gives other exclusive benefits and offers, including free drink upgrades at in-store cafes, a yearly free canvas tote, and free standard shipping. The annual fee is $39.99.
Barnes & Noble is also offering a new, free-to-enroll B&N Rewards program. B&N Rewards gives customers a spend-and-save reward on all shopping. For every $10 spent in a purchase, one stamp is earned and for every 10 stamps the customer receives a $5 reward. This is the first time the bookseller has introduced a free element to its loyalty program.
“It is a pleasure to revitalize our membership, with the new Premium Membership now made so much more valuable to our customers,” said James Daunt, CEO, Barnes & Noble. “As well as the 10% discount and new spend-and-save rewards, we will be devoting our energies to creating additional offers for our Members. As booksellers, we will make these ever more personalized, sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm for books with our customers. It is a very exciting new direction for Barnes & Noble.”
“The addition of a free loyalty program has been enthusiastically received in the trial phase of its launch,” said Shannon DeVito, Senior Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. “We now have levels of the program fit for all our customers. We’re especially looking forward to making curated recommendations, supported by compelling and interesting offers both in our stores and online, to the broadest sweep of readers.”