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Barnes & Noble Will Start Selling Booze to Boost Declining Sales

Barnes & Noble Will Start Selling Booze to Boost Declining Sales

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Author: Shernide Delva

The Barnes and Noble we have all come to know and love will soon sell more than books and Frappuccinos. The national bookstore recently joined the ranks of unlikely alcohol-selling retail businesses like Starbucks, Burger King, and Chuck E. Cheese. Many people are not happy with this decision. However, Barnes & Noble is eager to make a comeback.

Bookstores have long been a haven for coffee sipping and page turning. Alcohol may seem out of place in establishments like these, but the reality is that stores like Starbucks and Chuck E. Cheese have managed to add alcohol to their menu and profits have increased. With fewer consumers buying books than in the past, Barnes & Noble is making a last stitch effort to boost sales

Bloomberg reported the Barnes and Noble chain will open four new concept stores that have full course eateries attached to them. All will serve beer and wine, not heavy liquor, and will operate at twice the size of its existing café.

The concept stores will open in:

  • Loudoun, Virginia
  • Folsom, California
  • Eastchester, New York
  • Edina, Minnesota

The introduction of alcohol sales will debut in October in the Eastchester, New York location. Barnes & Noble’s CEO Ron Boire said in a statement that the eateries will “focus on an enhanced restaurant experience.” The company is desperate to increase sales after posting losses of $98.6 million last year. They also are eager to compete with their largest competitor Amazon.

Parents in New York City protested a similar change in March after a Brooklyn-based Chuck E. Cheese had announced they were to sell beer and wine. Concerned parents worried that it would pose a safety issue in an area already familiar with violence. Still, the owners of the establishment said they would increase security and staff in response.

Company spokesperson Alexis Linn has stated that 75 to 80 percent of Chuck E. Cheese locations nationwide now serve alcohol. However, they impose a two-drink limit and only serve drinks by the glass.

“With a largely millennial parent population, we’re seeing more demand for beer and wine,” said Linn via email to DNAinfo. “This generation really wants to ‘have their cake and eat it too,’ and moms & dads are looking for places that will please the whole family—not just the kids.”

Still, instances of adults fist-fighting at Chuck E. Cheese locations nationwide have made headlines. The company tried to downplay this problem in 2013 by telling ABC it spent $15 million on preventing similar incidents through “reduced showroom seating and party parameters.”

 They stressed that these fights were isolated episodes and “over 99.99% of approximately 65,000,000 annual guest visits at Chuck E. Cheese’s go without incident.”

Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Burger King are among the limited number of establishments now pushing alcohol sales in several of their establishments. Several locations have noticed an increase in profits because of this change. Several Starbucks in college areas has shifted to selling alcohol to suit the needs of the young adult demographic.

With the continual addition of alcohol in unlikely establishments, places that were once considered sober hang out zones now include alcohol on the menu. This may not seem like a major issue but for those new in recovery, it can be disheartening to steer clear of more than just the bar and club.

The good news is that while some typical alcohol-free establishments are selling alcohol, plenty of new places have popped up that encourage the sober lifestyle. A recent article in The Guardian declared sober as being the new drunk and places like New York City, and DC see a rise in sober-free juice crews, and sober raves.

Recovery teaches you the tools to navigate life and learn how to have fun without the abuse of substances. It may seem difficult to transition in a world that often appears to cater to the opposite, but there are plenty of resources and support out there. If you are struggling or lack the tools to succeed, call today. We can help.

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