Wood-grained tabletops showcasing the latest notebooks. A chance to experience the latest devices. Regular classes and events for the public.
No, it’s not an Apple Store. It’s the first-ever Google Shop,” which made its debut today on London’s Tottenham Court Road, as a dedicated “store with a store” at Currys PC World.
With the move, Google becomes the latest technology giant to dabble with physical retail stores as a new way of connecting with consumers. Apple has emerged as the leader, with more than 450 retail stores worldwide, but Microsoft now has more than 100 of its own, and even e-commerce giant Amazon has been testing pop-up retail locations, kiosks and college stores.
The new Google Store includes a large-screen installation for exploring the world through Google Earth, a “Doodle Wall” for spray-painting different versions of the Google logo, and a “Chromecast Pod” for experiencing content through Google’s television streaming device.
“With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life,” said Google’s James Elias in a statement. “We think it’s a genuinely unique try-before-you-buy experience.”
Two more Google Stores will open in the U.K. later this year, at additional Currys PC World locations, according to a news release announcing the first location this morning. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2013 that Google was considering opening retail stores in the U.S., but those have yet to emerge.