Google has announced via a new blog post that it will open its first retail store, in Chelsea at 15th and 9th street in New York.
The store will carry a host of Google products like Google Pixel phones, hardware for its Nest smart speakers, Fitbits, among other devices the company makes. The store will also be used to conduct training workshops, repairs and provide technical support. In their post, Google says that they will, "be opening our doors to the public in summer 2021." A firm date for the store opening has not been set. Google has stated that it will limit the number of people that are allowed to shop at the store for health reasons and will ask customers to wear masks and sanitize their hands.
More about the location
New York City was the first location Google expanded to in 2000. The city is home to Google's largest campus outside of its headquarters in Mountain View. Google has its Manhattan headquarters on 111 8th Avenue. In 2018 the company bought an old mall/foodcourt building near Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion. The new store will be located in this building at the center of the Google NYC campus. Approximately 11,000 employees work from the building and there is a constant stream of visitors, who might want to stop by and pick up some products.
Previous attempts at a retail store
This is the first official announcement Google has made about a retail store, however, there have been rumors about previous attempts by the company to set up a retail store. In 2018 reportedly the company was considering a space in Chicago's Fulton Market district but canceled its plans during the leasing process. Prior to that, in 2015 Google was planning a 'flagship' retail store that would be located in the SoHo district of NYC. The company leased a 5000 square feet space, completed $6 million worth of renovations, but then canceled its plans and chose to sublease the space.
Comparisons to Apple
Apple is the only tech giant that has had success with its own retail outlets. In fact, Apple is known worldwide for its quality retail experience. Following the announcement, many are pointing out that Google's attempt may be a move to compete with Apple. Currently, there is no news about whether or not Google plans to open additional retail locations in the future. However, the store in Chelsea could act as a learning model and valuable test case for the company.
Featured image: Courtesy Google