Google has followed in the footsteps of Amazon, Apple and eBay to open a physical retail store in London.
The Google Shop, a concession in electrical retailer Currys’ Tottenham Court Road branch, is set to sell its full range of products with staff members on hand to talk consumers through devices and apps.
Announcing the store, James Elias, the UK marketing director for Google, acknowledged that despite Google being a digital brand, it was important to offer people “a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer”.
The store, called The Google Shop, will sell the company’s range of Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and Chromecast TV services. The shop will hold tutorials showing consumers how to use the devices and hold demonstrations showing off key Google apps.
Additionally, visitors will have the chance to play with Google’s software tools and apps in a completely unique way, with installations including:
• An immersive surround screen installation called “Portal”, where users can “fly” through any part of the planet through Google Earth
• A 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
• A Chromecast Pod where customers can enjoy Google Play Movies, YouTube and more, all cast through a Chromecast dongle that converts any TV into a smart TV.
The Google shop hopes to host regular classes and events for the public. Classes will range from how to keep secure online and simply learning how devices work, to understanding how different devices work together to enable a more connected lifestyle.“Virtual Space Camps” will be offered to teach children the basics of coding and teachers will be invited to “Open House” events, to keep up to speed on the free educational tools on offer from Google.
Google previously opened a “Chromezone” in the Tottenham Court Road shop in 2011, which was then rolled out across the UK by Dixons, the owner of Currys PC World. Google has also opened “Androidland” in shops in Australia.
Ainsley Sykes, Senior Project Manager for Currys PC World, added: “We are delighted to partner with Google in bringing a world first retail experience to one of our stores. This will be a new and innovative way for customers to engage in store, interacting with the immersive technology as well as having fun while learning. Google experts will be on hand to maximise the experience for users and provide help and support around the Google eco-system. This fantastic space compliments the interactive and informative environment we aim to create for customers visiting all of our stores.”
Watch this video from Retail Week discussing the new store: