Great ResignationInflationSupply ChainsLeadership

How Barnes and Noble Is Moving Away From Books

December 4, 2015, 4:09 PM UTC
Inside A Barnes & Noble Inc. Location As New CEO Sees Non-Book Items As Key To Holidays
Toys are displayed for sale at a Barnes & Noble Inc. store at Union Square in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The biggest U.S. bookstore chain is counting on new do-it-yourself merchandise such as Raspberry Pi computer kits, art supplies, journals and even a Benedict Cumberbatch coloring book to lure shoppers at Christmas and beyond. Photographer: Yana Paskova/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg—Getty Images

Shares of Barnes and Noble (BKS) plunged more than 20% Friday after the bookseller posted worse-than-expected quarterly results a day before.

But while overall sales fell 4.5% in the second quarter compared to the previous year, one category was thriving: toys and games. The items saw an almost 15% growth in sales last quarter.

“While these are smaller pieces of our overall business, it’s clear we are a destination for these products and we see prospects for further growth,” CEO Ronald Boire said in the earnings call.

The book retailer is trying to reinvent its business, pivoting away from a focus on struggling book sales and toward gifts like toys, games, and gadgets. Stores have also begun attracting more foot traffic with events, like an All-American Art Unwind day that encouraged people to enjoy coloring books together, Boire said.

Adult coloring books are one of Barnes and Noble’s fastest growing book categories, according to the New York Times. “The macro trend is about physical interaction with things,” Boire told the Times. “I think it’s here for the long haul.”

Barnes and Noble—the last remaining national book store chain—has struggled to compete with Amazon for market share, while trying to stem the losses from its e-reader division.