Barnes & Noble opened a new store in Schaumburg on Friday June 12, 2020. The store at Woodfield Village Green, 1470B East Golf Road in Schaumburg represents a newly-designed format designed by Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt. In August 2019, Barnes & Noble announced the new store format just as Daunt became the new CEO, and as American hedge fund company Elliott Management Corp. acquired Barnes & Noble.
The front of the store displays the latest new books and releases, as expected. However, the new Barnes & Noble experience has distinct bookrooms for browsing by genre, and includes more books and store displays catering to the local market. There is also a Young Reader section and a Toddler section. The new store also features a Barnes & Noble Café with drinks and snacks catering to all ages, including Nitro coffee.
The Schaumburg store has COVID-19 safety precautions in place, as well as curbside and cafe pickup.
Barnes & Noble Inc.’s CEO James Daunt is working to change America’s largest bookstore chain, which allows each store to function like an independent store.
CEO Describing Barnes & Noble in 2019
“Barnes & Noble is what Waterstones used to be. They run identical bookshops up and down the country. You should do what you want; there are no restrictions on what books you stock, how you display them, what you promote. Each bookshop is quite individual.”
In addition to Barnes & Noble, Daunt runs two bookstore businesses — Waterstones and Daunt Books in Europe. Daunt is credited with rescuing Waterstones from a difficult period when he was brought in as CEO in 2011 — successfully competing with Amazon, and localizing Waterstones stores. Waterstones — serving customers with stores in the the United Kingdom, Jersey, Isle of Man, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Netherland — has about half the number of stores as Barnes & Noble. Elliott Management Corp. bought a majority stake in Waterstones in April 2018, keeping James Daunt as CEO.
‘Daunt Books’ is considered an independent bookstore business. Daunt started his career as an investment banker, and opened his first independent bookstore in London in 1990, at the age of 26. ‘Daunt Books’ expanded to eight stores in the United Kingdom with his namesake. The eight shops are re-opening from COVID-19 pandemic closures on Monday, June 15, 2020.
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