The Glossary Provides an Innovative Concept for Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble College company, a leader in campus retailing and one of the largest contract operators of bookstores on college and university campuses across the country, today announced the launch of its on-campus beauty concept, The Glossary. Housed as a distinct store within select Barnes & Noble College bookstores, The Glossary is a first-of-its-kind, dynamic retail environment that offers students the opportunity to explore, sample and purchase a wide variety of mass and prestige beauty products on a growing number of college campuses nationwide.

“We built our reputation as one of the most trusted campus retailers by continuously innovating and creating new merchandising ideas we know our students are looking for,” said Joel Friedman, Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, Barnes & Noble College. “We are excited to introduce The Glossary to our college partners, making the brands and products students want easily accessible to them for the first time.”

Barnes & Noble College selected global retail design and build firm RPG to design, brand and manufacture The Glossary. The environment showcases a groundbreaking retail shop that is completely distinguished from categories in the bookstore setting. RPG used warm colors and hand-drawn original art to create a unique, approachable presence for The Glossary. Main drive-aisle spaces and in-store locations position The Glossary for high traffic, while product displays create and encourage in-store experimentation, as opposed to the traditional approach of putting beauty products in a showcase. In order to appeal to a diverse spectrum of college students, The Glossary features a wide range of products from prestige brands and traditional mass-market brands.

“Through in-depth student discussions and focus groups, we recognized a gap in access to beauty solutions on campus and worked with them to help shape The Glossary,” said Lisa Mazzio, Director of Merchandise, Fashion Trends and Beauty, Barnes & Noble College. “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.”  

These research efforts are one example of Barnes & Noble College’s broader research strategies, including its Student and Parent POV panels. These platforms showcase the Company’s ability to quickly innovate products and services that align with the rapidly changing needs of its customers.

“RPG created a concept that appeals to a wide array of campus consumers,” Mazzio added. “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.”

Piloted at the Barnes & Noble Emory University and Southern Methodist University bookstores, The Glossary has since expanded to the campuses of Tulane University and the College of William & Mary, with plans to open a location in August on the campus of the University of California at Riverside.

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