In a sign of just how popular teen fiction has become, Barnes & Noble is in the midst of rearranging its teen fiction section chain-wide this week in an effort to improve the shopping experience and boost sales. Already teen fiction is the biggest book growth category at Barnes & Noble, according to Mary Amicucci, v-p of children’s books. In terms of volume, it is the second largest subject, behind adult fiction.
After testing the concept at a Barnes & Noble store in Hackensack, N.J., three weeks ago, the chain pushed the go button to reorganize all its teen sections by separating out the two most popular genres—paranormal romance and fantasy and adventure—from teen fiction. Teen series will be absorbed into the appropriate category, and two bays will be devoted to bestsellers. One will change weekly to reflect the top 10 teen fiction bestsellers; the other will be organized by genre and display top teen picks.
“It’s really about improving the customer experience,” Amicucci told PW. “We haven’t expanded or shrunk anything. That was the beauty of this—by breaking the genres out, we can really showcase the books. The key is a directed customer shopping experience that really supports browsing patterns.”
In addition to helping teens discover new books, the rearranged sections will enable them to easily filter out books they’re not interested in and go straight to the genre that they’re looking for.
The decision over which titles to put where was made in conjunction with some of Barnes & Noble’s largest publishing partners. Combined, the new paranormal and fantasy and adventure sections are slightly larger than teen fiction. “We’re getting some great feedback from our stores. We’ve seen it make an impact [in Hackensack],” says Amicucci. Although some stores have already completed their relays, the goal is for all the changeovers to be finished by the end of this weekend.