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The Wall Street Journal reports that Barnes & Noble has decided to devote 3,000 square feet in five of its mega-stores to children’s games and toys, which “will replace the music and DVD departments of those stores and will feature more than 2,000 educational games and toys.”

It is part of a broader refocusing at Barnes & Noble, according to the story, as the brick-and-mortar retailer looks to figure out where it fits in a world where e-books and online shopping are changing consumer behavior. “The retailer is now building out 1,000-square-foot in-store boutiques at all 717 of the consumer bookstores that feature the Nook e-reader and related accessories,” the Journal writes.

“Barnes & Noble recently unveiled a Nook Color e-reader that will go on sale later this month.

“In addition, Barnes & Noble has completed a nationwide expansion of its educational toys and games departments in all of its stores and now offers more than 1,000 related products.

“Along with the toys and games aimed at young kids, the chain is offering adult games and puzzles intended for those 13 and older.”
KC's View:
This is a sign of things to come, as retailers redefine themselves because of all the structural changes taking place in how people shop and what they buy. Everything ought to be on the table, though it is critical for retailers to be vigilant about protecting their brands.

That said, I would point out to Barnes & Noble that one can buy games and toys online, and often for less money. So I’m not sure this addresses the real problem.