Barnes & Noble typically conjures images of books, calendars, CDs and other published items. But the retailer is looking to broaden that base, adding more than one million new products to its online marketplace at BN.com.
That includes cooking utensils, digital cameras and, yes, even baby strollers. The company has partnered with more than 20 retailers for the new product lines, including Wayfair, Abe’s of Maine and School Specialty.
In a press release, Barnes & Noble president of e-commerce, John Foley, called the new products “an organic extension of our consumer value proposition.” They are divided into five new product categories, including home and gift; consumer electronics; arts and crafts; toys and games; and baby.
The move is a direct response to Amazon.com’s successful third-party merchant marketplace. And Barnes & Noble will have a long way to go to catch up to its much larger rival.
Amazon now boasts a market value of $106 billion, compared to just $620 million for Barnes & Noble. Peter Wahlstrom, an analyst at Morningstar, tells Reuters that he doesn’t expect the new Barnes & Noble marketplace to be a big source of revenue.
The rivalry between Amazon and Barnes & Noble has intensified recently, with both companies selling their own digital reading devices: The Kindle and The Nook. Also, Barnes & Noble recently pulled comic book titles from its shelves from DC Comics after the iconic publishing company entered into an exclusive agreement with Amazon.com’s upcoming Kindle Fire.