US: Toys save the day for Barnes & Noble as book sales remain sluggish

The New York-based retail chain is turning to toys to pick up the slack by stocking more LEGO, dolls and board games than before.
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International book retailer Barnes & Noble is selling more toys than ever, in order to compensate for slow book sales.

The New York based retailer has seen almost 20 per cent increase in toy sales last quarter compared to last year - an antidote to sluggish book sales.

Business Week reports that the chain has started promoting itself as the place for games, dolls and LEGO in an attempt to draw more customers to its 650 stores.

According to reports, Barnes & Noble now aims to sell books to toy shoppers once they ‘get in the door,’ and looks to grow a new generation of readers.

“People now understand after the last two holidays that we’re in [the toy] business, and we’re in it in a big way,” said Mitchell Klipper, head of the Barnes & Noble retail group.

"We have stuff you can’t find in other retailers.”

With merchandise including educational board games, LEGO sets and dolls from Walt Disney, Klipper confirms that the store’s toys and game offering is helping make the retailer more of a ‘hang-out’ destination, encouraging families to play together in side the store.

“You sit on the floor, you curl up with a good book with your child,” he said.

“You don’t see anybody going to Bed, Bath & Beyond curling up with a blender.”

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