Google to Open its First Retail Store This Summer in New York
Google announced that it will open its first-ever retail store, where it will sell Pixel phones, Fitbit wearables, Pixelbooks, Nest thermostats and speakers, and more. The store will be located in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, specifically in the building that houses Google’s New York offices and is close to an Apple Store. The store is expected to open this summer. The Google store will also offer technical support for the company’s devices, including fixing cracked phone screens.
Total Retail's Take: Google aims to follow in the footsteps of another software and technology company, Apple, in successfully extending its business into brick-and-mortar retail. However, success is far from guaranteed, as seen in Microsoft's decision last June to permanently close all of its 83 brick-and-mortar locations. Greg Sterling, vice president of insights at Uberall, a location marketing platform, offered the following quote to Total Retail in response to the Google news:
“For several years it [Google] has flirted with opening physical stores; it has had several pop-up stores. It has also created 'store within a store' displays. And Google was going to open a "flagship" store in Chicago in 2018, and then didn't. This then would be the company's first stand-alone, formal retail presence.
Google now has a lot of hardware to sell and the company can benefit from showcasing it in the same way that Apple has benefitted from having stores. But the opportunity for Google is bigger than that. Google could make support people or classes available to educate local business owners about ads and other marketing tools — think Genius Bar for AdWords, Google Shopping or Google My Business. It doesn't appear it intends to do this, but it would be wise to consider it.”