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Google rumored to open first retail store near Apple's SoHo spot in Manhattan

post #1 of 56
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Google is said to be close to signing a lease to open a retail store on Greene Street in New York City's SoHo neighborhood -- just steps away from Apple's heavily trafficked location on Prince Street.

SoHo 8
Apple's current SoHo store reopened after renovations in 2012.


The search giant is said to be in talks to lease property at 131 Greene St., a report published by Crain's revealed this week. If the plans come to pass, it would be the first-ever retail store for Google, which is generally known as a services company but has increasingly stepped into the hardware business.

The location reportedly being eyed by Google is less than 300 feet from the entrance to the SoHo Apple Store, located at 103 Prince St. That location has been open since July of 2002, and underwent major renovations in 2012 to bring it up to speed with Apple's other large flagship stores around New York City.

Google apparently hopes it will be able to cash in on the booming neighborhood to make a splash with its own retail debut. The rumored plans call for Google to open an 8,000-square-foot store on the section of Greene Street between Prince and Houston streets.

While the company doesn't make very much of its own hardware, and even took a step back in the hardware space by selling off Motorola Mobility, an official Google store could be a place for the company to push its own Google Glass initiative once it becomes available to consumers. Google could also highlight its Nexus-branded phones and tablets, which are created through partnerships with third-party manufacturers like LG, Asus and Samsung.

Google's floating building
Google's mystery San Francisco barge | Source: CNET


Google is also rumored to be expanding its Nexus lineup with a new smart watch the company is said to be planning to unveil at this year's I/O developer conference in June. The new device is said to be the result of a partnership between LG and Google, and it is expected to run a new operating system intended for wearable electronics.

Placing fledgling retail efforts within proximity of existing Apple Store locations is not a new strategy --?Microsoft employed the same tactic years ago, though it focused largely on competing with Apple's mall locations rather than flagship standalone stores.

Google has also made waves with four mysterious floating barges that are rumored to be utilized as a way to introduce its Google Glass headset to the public, once the product is ready to be launched. The floating structures have been docked at major ports on both the east and west coasts of the U.S., specifically San Francisco, Portland, Connecticut, and New England.
post #2 of 56

A Google store?

 

So when in SoHo I can go in there to ask questions/directions rather than search online?

 

Excellent! A bit less convenient than "Googlng" on my iPhone but hey, I suppose they think it's innovative.....

post #3 of 56
A store for the customers to walk in and conveniently dump all their detailed private information by connecting their smartphones to one of the innovative new 'sharing kiosks' that Google has installed. You get a coupon for a free Starbucks as a reward. /s
post #4 of 56

So a Google Store is financially viable… how?

 

I guess you could copy and paste an Apple Store and then show giant ads instead of the banners on the walls, product information plaques, and on every screen of every device.

 

I think I did a mockup of that once, too.

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post #5 of 56
I fully expect Google to announce massive losses connected to both their retail efforts and Google Glass in a year or two.

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post #6 of 56

To sell what exactly?! 

 

Samsung products? Paper copies of maps? Vaporware?

post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

To sell what exactly?! 

 

Samsung products? Paper copies of maps? Vaporware?

 

You keep forgetting, the customers of a Google Store would be advertisers.  People walking, or straying into them are the product.

post #8 of 56

Mor proof that Google is the next Microsoft.  

 

Looking forward to the Christmas comparison pictures of the two stores customer population.

post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

To sell what exactly?! 

Samsung products? Paper copies of maps? Vaporware?

Reckon they'll just auction off anyone who walks in the door.
post #10 of 56

I like gmail, google search and youtube but at this point I see Google as a clone of  Samsung (keep on copying till death) and not at all American. 

 

I really want Apple to come up with its own Search Engine in a big big way. This is when Google gets Hiroshima, Nagasaki experience!

post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

To sell what exactly?! 

 

Samsung products? Paper copies of maps? Vaporware?

 

This is my question too...WTH are they going to offer and how is it going to make money for them and not someone else? The only thing I could see is a separate section for google only stuff like if they make another pure Google Android phone, the Chromecast thingy and stuff like that. I guess maybe they could have another section for regular Android phones but other than maybe making money off advertising from using the phone, I can't see how it will make any money for them. Unless, they're not concerned with making money off a store like Microsoft does. 

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post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srice View Post
 

Mor proof that Google is the next Microsoft.  

 

It's a race between Google and Amazon.

post #13 of 56
I heard you have to turn over the contents of your wallet or purse just to enter the store.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

To sell what exactly?! 

 

Samsung products? Paper copies of maps? Vaporware?

Okay kiosks to print out maps would at least be a real thing. Not precisely 21st Century, but at least a sort of real thing..... with all the likely stores you'd be interested in given the file they already have on you (and who they charge to get highlighted)? A "helpful brother", Big is just a no matter....

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopterben View Post

I really want Apple to come up with its own Search Engine in a big big way. This is when Google gets Hiroshima, Nagasaki experience!

i'm sure the 150,000-250,000 people vaporized and countless others burned and maimed and wounded appreciate that.
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post #16 of 56

Is there nothing that Google will not steal from Apple?  They are worse than Samsung!

post #17 of 56

Here is the Google Genius at the new store

 

 

So what does and ad agency store look like, never seen a company who sells ad have a store front, will it feature new advertising widgets 

post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I fully expect Google to announce massive losses connected to both their retail efforts and Google Glass in a year or two.

Google will not do that, google glasses and such are all consider R&D expenses and are accounted for as it happens. They write it off as it happens. Unlike M$ who had to write down or off the losses from Surface, since it was no longer an R&D programs and went into production, But hell they are now giving the stuff away for free to school, those poor kids, they should be a law against abusing kids that way.

post #19 of 56

Time shares in their barges?

post #20 of 56
Jokes aside, Google actually has 13 devices for sale on the Play Store. With the addition of Glass and a smartwatch I think they can easily fill out a retail store.
post #21 of 56
And ahem what they will sell ? Empty wall space of the store to advertisers ??? 1oyvey.gif
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I fully expect Google to announce massive losses connected to both their retail efforts and Google Glass in a year or two.


On news of which, Google's stock to rise 5%.

post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Jokes aside, Google actually has 13 devices for sale on the Play Store. With the addition of Glass and a smartwatch I think they can easily fill out a retail store.

Filling out a retail store is not the same as selling stuff in a retail store.

 

Add: Btw, does anyone else think that the Chromebook Pixel (https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromebook_pixel_wifi) is, except for the lack of rounded corners, a stunningly blatant rip-off of the MacBook Pro?:no:

post #24 of 56
I expect a Minority Report scanner at the front doors. Imagine the convenience!
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post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Filling out a retail store is not the same as selling stuff in a retail store.

Add: Btw, does anyone else think that the Chromebook Pixel (https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=chromebook_pixel_wifi) is, except for the lack of rounded corners, a stunningly blatant rip-off of the MacBook Pro?1oyvey.gif

Yes that is... They even sell it for such price,but it's just a browser with a Celeron and 16 GB of storage, average battery life and a high res display. It's such shit that they make a just a few thousand of them and are selling them to these days... They even gave away 5000 of them for free on gogle io 2013.

gogle never feels shamefull for stealing.. Android itself, the chrome book pixel, even that freaking iOS7 lock screen shortcut to camera is copied in the android kitkat to the last pixel... Oh no iOS7 shortcut got a an empty dot on it... Wow google surprised me with theirs originality:


post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

Jokes aside, Google actually has 13 devices for sale on the Play Store. With the addition of Glass and a smartwatch I think they can easily fill out a retail store.

 

13 Devices are barely enough to warrant a push-cart on Madison Avenue.

 

No, I think the so-called "retail store" is actually going to be a docking-point for people to fly into the sky and visit all the cloud storage that Google just cut the prices on.  

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/164216/google-drive-slashes-paid-storage-prices-turning-up-the-heat-on-rival-dropbox

 

/s.

post #27 of 56

Will Google actually carry any inventory at this store? 

 

Or will it function more like those pop up stores they opened over the holidays?  Y'know, the ones where a customer could try a product out, but if they actually wanted to buy something, they could only order it online and have it shipped.

 

One of the big points of having B&M stores is the instant gratification of being able to make a purchase and take it home immediately.  The stores also serve as a point of contact for aftersales support, such as returns, repairs, advice, and training.  These functions are where Apple has excelled, and the retail stores have greatly contributed to the company's bottomline and its brand image. 

 

Google's previous experience with their pop up stores was more about promotion and the wow factor of showing off their devices, with the actual purchase and aftersales support shunting the customer over to the online world.  If that's Google's vision of retailing, they'll have a rude awakening.

 

Retail is not an easy nut to crack. And Google's history with retail sales seems like a geek utopia of automating the entire process and minimizing human interaction as much as possible. Recall the customer service fiasco with the Nexus One, where Google did not provide any phone or real time contacts to support the device (and took upwards of three days to answer e-mail).  They do rely on humans to evangelize their products and technology. But, the nuts and bolts process of making the sale at a retail store and then supporting that sale afterwards requires human-to-human grunt work, an area that seems contrary to Google's way of doing business.


Edited by Woochifer - 3/13/14 at 2:39pm
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jusephe View Post


gogle never feels shamefull for stealing.. Android itself, the chrome book pixel, even that freaking iOS7 lock screen shortcut to camera is copied in the android kitkat to the last pixel... Oh no iOS7 shortcut got a an empty dot on it... Wow google surprised me with theirs originality:



It's ironic that your iOS screenshot includes the live wallpaper that Apple copied from Google's “Phase Beam” live wallpaper.
post #29 of 56

Probably will be as empty as every Microsoft store! 

post #30 of 56

Has google's share gone UP yet?!! I am sure ANALysts have gone crazy over this GREAT news!

 

On similar note:

 

1. Larry Page figured no one would give shit to visit their stores EXCEPT android users who were born cheap and freebies lovers! So, no $$ come from them! But, if they are close to Apple, a few classy people might drop by google store! They won't spend a dime there but still they can say hey we are busy!

 

2. Larry Page's biggest dream is to take over Apple! Yes. Ask him if you don't believe me. But as this is only a dream-never-come-true, Larry gets brain orgasm even building a store close to Apple .... and he knows this is as close as he can ever get to Apple.

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post #31 of 56

No! Not another mega corporate store on or around Broadway. Thank god for the zoning laws keeping them at bay. 

post #32 of 56
Here we go. Google now following Microsoft in their train wreck of copycat Apple stores. Have these companies no ideas or imagination of their own? Enough said.
post #33 of 56
Everyone here has made good points. Google has little to sell and mainly just gives away a mobile operating system. The deck is decidedly stacked against the success of this idea. It seems foolish. So why?

Because Google is scared as hell. Apple, and all it does well including retail, could very well eat Google's lunch. This is pure and simple a desperation move. A last ditch effort to hope for supremacy.

It will actually play very well into Apple's hands. When people can compare side by side and see what Apple does against Google, and see a Google Store is empty while Apple's is full it will only accentuate the differences and not in a way that will be favorable to Google. Bring it ON!
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

No! Not another mega corporate store on or around Broadway. Thank god for the zoning laws keeping them at bay. 

Who else can afford to pay those rents? My favorite watering hole Gonzalez y Gonzalez had to move from there after many years.
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post #35 of 56

It's called 'laying the foundation' people. So what if they have 13 products only to sell? Soon they'll be selling contact lens, Google Glass, robots, self-drive cars... those things take up space!

post #36 of 56
An Amazon retail store would make as much sense (which is none at all). When the Nexus One was released, it was supposed to usher in the golden age of ordering and supporting phones over the Web. Guess not.

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post #37 of 56
The only logical purpose for a Google Store is to establish a place where they can physically collect DNA samples, retinal scans, passport copies, and full body scans. Loyalty program customers can also get "chipped" for full 24x7 surveillance. This will allow Google to collect and package for resale the last vestiges of personally identifiable and privacy information that they don't already have about their customer base, or as they call it, their "information farm."

Smile for the camera and say "moo."
post #38 of 56
No doubt it will be a space for demonstrating not just hardware but the.Google software (including acquisitions like Nik image plugins) to the public. Soho is an area where there are many clothing designer's "retail" spaces and high end brands showcases, but really 90% of what goes on in some of those places is spreading knowledge of their latest lines to their niche, who enjoy checkng it out but would never buy something there. There is definitely plenty of purchasing going on in the neighborhood but spaces that are very elaborate but don't rely on selling product at that location to make it a worthwhile expense are common.

They'll no doubt sell whatever is available to sell, but I think it's more about showing the uneducated public the rest of it. Soho is a mecca for foot traffic, especially international tourists. Lots of walking in and out of inviting looking storefronts. Not really that much pulling out of credit cards, though obviously some. The Apple Store really became somewhat of a hub there. Makes plenty of sense that people leaving the Apple Store will want to see what's going on over there. Whether they buy something is really not the point.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

No doubt it will be a space for demonstrating not just hardware but the.Google software (including acquisitions like Nik image plugins) to the public. Soho is an area where there are many clothing designer's "retail" spaces and high end brands showcases, but really 90% of what goes on in some of those places is spreading knowledge of their latest lines to their niche, who enjoy checkng it out but would never buy something there. There is definitely plenty of purchasing going on in the neighborhood but spaces that are very elaborate but don't rely on selling product at that location to make it a worthwhile expense are common.

They'll no doubt sell whatever is available to sell, but I think it's more about showing the uneducated public the rest of it. Soho is a mecca for foot traffic, especially international tourists. Lots of walking in and out of inviting looking storefronts. Not really that much pulling out of credit cards, though obviously some. The Apple Store really became somewhat of a hub there. Makes plenty of sense that people leaving the Apple Store will want to see what's going on over there. Whether they buy something is really not the point.

I could se that: sort of a stand-alone Genius Bar to generate buzz, hence the location, rather than direct over the counter sales...

post #40 of 56
I vote for GatorGuy behind the Genius bar.
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