Barnes & Noble Brings Beauty To Colleges

(Author : Daniela Walker)
The bookseller is expanding its push on college campuses toward beauty products.

Barnes & Noble College, the bookstore located on over 750 college campuses across the United States, is getting into the beauty game. It has recently piloted a new retail format, The Glossary, which brings a Sephora-like experience to its bookstores.

The Glossary is a space for college students to find both established and up-and-coming brands. The retail concept promotes in-store experimentation with beauty products, and steers away from traditional concession stand beauty assistants.

The Glossary came about after Barnes & Noble College held student focus groups and discovered that access to beauty products was a retail opportunity that currently wasn’t being offered on most campuses.

“We recognized a gap in access to beauty solutions on campus and worked with [students] to help shape The Glossary,” said Lisa Mazzio, Director of Merchandise, Fashion Trends and Beauty, Barnes & Noble College in a press statement.

“Their feedback informed the categories and brands we sell, the look and layout of the stores themselves, and the format that inspires self-discovery rather than in-aisle beauty consultants, which students expressed were less desired.

The bookseller worked with retail design and build firm RPG to design, brand and manufacture The Glossary, and prestige health and beauty brands distributor EC Scott Group to stock its shelves with product. Not looking to alienate consumers looking for product, EC Scott Group and Barnes & Noble College worked to bring together cult beauty brands such as Smashbox and Philosophy with more mainstream, drugstore brands like CoverGirl and Maybelline.

“The Glossary’s design attracts value seekers, product perfectionists and brand devotees, and is scalable to add, evolve and change the product mix in the future,” said Mazzio.

Barnes & Noble College first trialled The Glossary at the Barnes & Noble Emory University and Southern Methodist University bookstores before expanding to Tulane University and the College of William & Mary. It will continue to grow, with the newest location set to open in August at the University of California at Riverside.

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