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Berklee Bookstore Expands


 
  Increased shelf space has enabled the bookstore to offer a wider selection.
  Photos by Phil Farnsworth
 
  The front third of the Berklee bookstore's top floor offers apparel and gifts.

In September the new and improved Berklee College of Music Bookstore opened a few doors down from its former address on Boylston Street. Featuring upper and lower levels, the layout of the renovated and expanded space is nearly 5,000 square feet, more than three times the size of the old store. The improved floor plan offers more shelf space for textbooks, workbooks, sheet music, DVDs, CDs, apparel, and music supplies (including guitar strings, saxophone reeds, and metronomes). Spacious aisles, additional registers, and the increased capacity for fulfilling online orders from anywhere in the world promise an improved customer experience.

Barnes and Noble College Bookstores Inc., the company that operates Berklee's store, sees the new facility as an opportunity to create the premier music bookstore in Boston. It has designed the space with an aesthetic that complements Berklee's contemporary image, ideals, and mission. For example, door hardware and aisle end panels are crafted in the shapes of musical symbols and instruments. As well, poster-size covers of Berklee today adorn the walls above the staircase to the lower level.

For those familiar with the old space at 1080 Boylston Street, the changes are readily apparent as soon as you step inside. The Berklee clothing and gift section now occupies the front third of the store, where shelves and hangers are packed with goods ranging from caps, T-shirts, sweatpants (including outfits for children), mugs, pens, and backpacks. The magazine rack has been expanded and offers instrument magazines, titles for recording techs and business majors, as well as classical and jazz-music magazines and pop-culture titles. "Before, we only had enough shelf space for 10 to 12 titles," says store manager Frank Moore. "We can carry a lot more now. We are also proud to offer a larger selection of music-theory books, songbooks, classical scores, and even children's music that we didn't have space for before."

Another new addition is a long shelf in front of the cash register displaying CDs by faculty members. While the bookstore previously sold goods online, the increased storage capacity for inventory and a larger workspace will facilitate shipping online orders. (To place an order online, visit berklee.bncollege.com.) The plans to host book and CD signings indoors as well as live performances on the new outdoor patio area signal that Berklee's bookstore is writing a new chapter in its history.