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Barnes & Noble launches $40 annual membership service

Barnes & Noble is initiating a $40-per-year membership service that will offer customers discounts, free shipping and additional perks.

CEO James Daunt told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that the program will allow the company, the world’s largest bookseller, to learn what its customers are buying and therefore what to promote to them. 

The service will offer members a 10 percent discount, free shipping with no minimum threshold to meet, tote bags and larger drink size upgrades at the bookstore’s cafes.

The company will also offer a free, lower-tier membership program for customers to earn a virtual stamp for every $10 they spend. They will receive $5 in store credit once they gather 10 stamps.

Other retail stores, like Walmart and Best Buy, have launched similar programs to try to increase revenue and the number of customers they receive, the Journal reported. 

The new membership program replaces an old one that cost $25 per year and gave discounts for purchases inside physical stores only. The new program will include online purchases, according to the CEO.

Daunt said he expects, along with new customers, that at least 75 percent of the 5.5 million people who were members of the old program will likely switch to the new one.

Barnes & Noble reportedly plans to add 30 additional stores throughout this year as customer demand remains high.


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