Google Opens Its First-Ever Branded Retail Space

March 17, 2015 | B2C Retail

While everyone has been waiting for Amazon to open a branded retail store, Google beat them to the punch.

In the most recent example of an online player entering the brick-and-mortar world, Google has opened its first-ever branded retail space. The shop-in-shop is in Currys PC World, on the tech-centric Tottenham Court Road in London. (Currys PC World is part of U.K. electronics retailer Dixon’s Carphone Group.) Two more shops are already in the works, also in the London area.

Befitting the tech giant, the approximate 1,000-sq.-ft. new Google Shop is sleek and contemporary looking, with some playful touches. Google’s Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops and Chromecasts are on display for sampling and buying, and shoppers can also learn how the devices work together.

Google also hopes to entice consumers by hosting regular classes and events. The scheduled activities include “Virtual Space Camps, ” where children can learn the basics of coding. Teachers will be invited to “Open House” events where they can keep up to speed on the free educational tools provided by Google.

The brand-centric space features an immersive surround screen installation, called “Portal,” where users can “fly” through any part of the planet through Google Earth. There is also a fun “doodle wall” where budding graffiti artists can use digital spray cans to paint their own take on Google’s iconic logo, which they can then share on social media. 

 And customers can watch Google Play Movies, YouTube and the like in the shop’s “Chromecast Pod.”

“The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years,” said James Elias, U.K. marketing director for Google in explaining the mission for the new venture. “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. We think it’s a genuinely unique try-before-you-buy experience.”

While this is not a standalone retail door, the shop in Currys could indicate that is in the pipeline. And, if successful, there’s sure to be more opening across the globe, especially in the U.S.

Posted by Paula You | Request as a Speaker

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