Why is stock at the Barnes & Noble Cafe so low?

The Starbucks at Barnes & Noble is frequently out of oat milk, brown sugar and vanilla. - Graphic / Julia Quennessen

The Barnes & Noble Cafe at Rowan University has been facing issues of low stock in the cafe. Why is the stock at the Barnes & Noble Cafe so low? The answer is simple. The manager Richele B. says that like a lot of other businesses, the cafe is still facing the aftermath of COVID-19.

Workers and customers are frustrated because of the shortage in supplies at the Barnes & Noble Cafe. The cafe does receive complaints from customers when they cannot receive the item they were looking for, but not an exorbitant amount that would lead to widespread customer dissatisfaction.

“I find it very difficult because I’ve had many instances where people want something and after declining them multiple times, they end up leaving and it makes us look bad,” said Gianna Blanche, an employee at the Barnes & Noble Cafe and a student at Rowan University.

While the store may face a small decrease in sales due to the low stock, it is not a dramatic decline. The cafe still brings in a lot of money, as does the company. Income and the employment of employees are not affected by the supply shortage at the Barnes & Noble Cafe.

The payment of employees is not based on the store’s income. Employees of the Glassboro location will not feel an impact in pay or risk unemployment from the potential decrease of sales. 

Richele B. expressed that there is a staff shortage at the cafe, but this does not contribute to the supply shortage. 

The issue begins with the supplier. The shortage of staff in warehouses contributes to the output and delivery times. An order picker works within the warehouse to gather and package orders to be distributed to the cafes. Richele B. was an order picker herself. Instances have occurred in which distributors have shipped a cafe stock order to a different university.

“Although we are short-staffed, we are pretty good about catching those mistakes,” said Richele B. 

Other supply issues are caused by delayed delivery times from the drivers.

The Barnes & Noble Cafe is licensed to sell Starbucks products. Starbucks chains are also faced with a shortage of stock. 

“The Barnes & Noble Cafe is not an actual Starbucks,” Richele B. said. “There is just not enough supplies to go around.” 

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