The new store is the bookseller’s first new bookstore in Michigan in 13 years.

The new store is the bookseller’s first new bookstore in Michigan in 13 years.

Photo by John D'Angelo, Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble unveils new ‘prototype’ in Rochester Hills

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 1, 2019


Barnes & Noble opened the doors to the first bookstore of its kind in the metro Detroit area last week at the Village of Rochester Hills.

The 14,000-square-foot store — which opened March 27 — is the bookseller’s first new bookstore in the state in 13 years and one of only 10 “prototype” stores to open across the nation.

“We’re really excited to bring this new prototype store to the Rochester Hills community,” said Frank Morabito, the vice president of stores at Barnes & Noble. “We think the Village of Rochester Hills is the ideal location to test one of our new store prototypes.”

At just over half the size of a traditional Barnes & Noble, the square footage isn’t all that sets the prototype apart.

“It’s not your typical Barnes & Noble,” Morabito said. “From the lighting to the paint color to the flooring, we really wanted to create a bookstore with a more contemporary feel, where a strong book focus was the heart of the store. Additionally, we have an expanded gifts for readers section, and we’ll be featuring local authors and local-interest books for the community.”

The interior features an abundance of book displays on lower-profile bookshelves to give customers a panoramic view of the space, two self-serve kiosks to aid customers in finding books, a variety of community seating options near the store’s Starbucks cafe, and a children’s section complete with a Lego activity table and dedicated storytime space. It’s also has a 700-square-foot flexible event space for school book fairs, book signings and story times.

The store is staffed with locals, from store manager and Rochester Hills resident Lisa Kargol to the booksellers — who will be equipped with tablets so customers who want to avoid the traditional check out line can purchase items anywhere in the store.

“What I’m very excited about and proud of is that we have hired all of our booksellers from this community, and they are very excited and energized about showing off our store to their friends, family and the community at large,” Korgal.

The space, 200 N. Adams Road, was previously occupied by Bath & Body Works, B Spot Burgers, and Campus Den.

This is the second Barnes & Noble store in Rochester Hills. Company officials said the other local Barnes & Noble, at 2800 S. Rochester Road, will remain open.

Kara Engblom, the marketing coordinator for the Village of Rochester Hills, said Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt also recently opened — on March 31 — in a vacant space next to Barnes & Noble in the outdoor shopping center.

Menchie’s, she said, will hold a grand opening event April 6.