Barnes & Noble is kicking off the holiday season with an amazing Discovery Friday event on Friday, November 22nd. If your idea of a fun Friday is hanging out with the family, listening to stories, participating in scavenger hunts, or doing a puzzle with the kiddos while sipping on hot cocoa and eating delicious cookies, you’re in luck! Barnes & Noble’s Discovery Friday event will be just that and more! They will have author and celebrity appearances, activities and story times the entire family will love and even a ‘Duck Dynasty’ photo station! How great is that? Sarah DiFrancesco, director of community relations for Barnes & Noble joined me yesterday to dish on everything you can expect at Barnes & Noble stores across the country on Discovery Friday, and what other amazing promotions they’ll have in store for the month of December.
Candace Rose: Sarah, what is Discovery Friday?
Sarah DiFrancesco: “Discovery Friday is Barnes & Noble’s official launch to the holiday season. It takes place on November 22nd, which is the Friday before Black Friday. It’s a day long event that’s taking place in all Barnes & Noble stores across the country. We’ve got special events, story times, author and celebrity appearances, and activities and games for the whole family to enjoy in all of our stores.”
Candace Rose: What sort of activities will each store offer?
Sarah DiFrancesco: “We have a variety of activities for people of all ages. We have dedicated story times at 10, 2 and 7…where we’ll feature stories like ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’, there’s ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’.
The 7 pm story time features scavenger hunts, activities around The Elf on the Shelf. We also have, like I said, author and celebrity appearances; we’ve got costume characters in stores, you’ll find stations throughout the stores for products and different activities. We’ve got things if you’re familiar with ‘Duck Dynasty’ we’ve got a cutout beard photo station, and people who come can get a ‘beard on a stick’. We’ll have games in the cafe that both adults and kids can play- we’ve got Scrabble, Rummy, different kinds of puzzles. There are a ton of activities that are for more than one person, individual things that people can do.
We’ve got activities for older kids around titles such as ‘The Heroes of Olympus’, John Green: ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. There’s also a really great event taking place if you’re familiar with Lego- it’s called Chima – Chi. It’s like a Lego race car, you can come and do tournament play with these Lego cars.
So in addition to all of those things that all stores will host, our individual local stores have reached out to their communities, their local authors, and have planned many activities that are really special to the communities they serve.”
Candace Rose: How does a chain like Barnes & Noble prepare for the holiday season?
Sarah DiFrancesco: “Well, specifically for this we pulled together a group of people to brainstorm ‘how do we make this fun and personal for not only our book sellers but our customers that are shopping in our stores. We looked at the lineup of products that we have, we worked with our publishing and we said how do we really make this a special event for our stores, for our communities; but really make it all about the perfect gift for everybody on your list. Where we came up with the idea of Discovery Friday is Black Friday gets into this rush of doorbusters and craziness and waking up at the crack of dawn…we really wanted to put the fun back into shopping, and help our customers enjoy some time with their family going to the cafe- have special treats, cookies, a cup of coffee, and cocoa or whatever it might be; just really put the fun back into their holiday shopping so they can have activities and find the perfect thing for everybody on their list!”
Candace Rose: And if people aren’t able to make it on Discovery Friday, will there be any other seasonal promotions or events?
Sarah DiFrancesco: “We have things going on all throughout the month of December, so if you go on BarnesandNoble.com you’ll see a list of what’s happening in local stores. December 1st we have ‘Grinch Day’ in our stores which will have special activities and story times. We have ‘Downton Abbey’ parties in our stores starting on the 29th until about the middle of December. There’s just a bunch of different things going on in our stores.
There’s a ‘Polar Express’ story time on Friday, December 6th at 7pm. All throughout the holiday season there are many things in our individual stores across the country that customers can attend.”