It looks like bookstores are getting so eager for new product categories that they are actually going back to the periodical market. Barnes & Noble, the still-standing book chain, is adding comics racks to its product mix, apparently in advance of this summer’s comic book movie heavy slate. Bleeding Cool has an internal memo on the matter:
New Comics Category in Newsstand
Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America are coming to your store! We’re excited to announce a new comics category.
In early June, we will begin carrying both Marvel and DC Comics titles that until now have only been available in comics specialty stores. We’ll also have new assortments from such publishers as Dynamic Forces, so series like the popular Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris will come straight to your store. We will continue to search for new and exciting titles to add to this category to drive customer interest and sales.
To feature these new titles, we will be creating new layouts for all stores. With your help and support, we believe Newsstand sales will increase and Barnes & Noble will become the destination for comics lovers.
Of course, Borders had comics spinners racks for years and it didn’t do them much good, but they carried more vaguely family friendly offerings. With more of a corporate push, could comics periodicals become a profit center for the beleaguered bookstore?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.