I grew up in Rochester Hills, MI. As far back as the early 90's there was a Barnes & Noble bookstore about a mile from my house. Plans were announced earlier this week to open up a Barnes & Noble prototype store in the Village of Rochester Hills. This will be the first new Barnes & Noble bookstore in Michigan in the past 13 years, and the 10th of its kind. The store is just over half the size of a traditional Barnes & Noble store and will feature a brighter interior with more cover-out book displays, lower bookshelves and plenty of non-book merchandise, like vinyl records, notebooks, board games, bottled water and Lego sets.

Something really unique about these stores is that the staff will be walking around with check-out tablets, letting customers make purchases without the need to wait in the cash register line. There's gonna be more dedicated shelf space for books on local history and local sports teams as well as more communal seating around the store's Starbucks cafe. Children also get to enjoy a unique Legos play table and have a "story time" area as well. Do you think Kalamazoo could use a prototype store like this?
Personally, I would LOVE a store that has a section with featured books on the history of Kalamazoo and their sports teams. I feel it would get kids excited to learn about the city they're growing up in. I wonder if the Portage store would ever transform into this. I know I'm gonna go back and check it out for myself.