I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than 3 years)
Excellent benefits (health insurance, paid vacations, employee discounts), fun working environment (usually), if you love books, it's almost doesn't feel like work (almost).
HR can be two-faced, they are there to "help," but if you have a problem with a manager they are more likely to sell you out than help you.
Advice to Management
Be consistent, consistent, consistent!
I applied in-person. The process took a week. I interviewed at Barnes & Noble (Clifton, NJ).
Went in for short interview with manager (about 15 minutes), relaxed and casual, very easy process. Felt more like a chat about former jobs and what I liked and disliked about them than an interview.