Google takes bigger step into retail with branded London store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
Google is taking a deeper step into the retail world with a newly-launched "store within a store," located in London, that will give the company a venue to promote products such as Android phones, Chromebooks, and the Chromecast.

[The first Google Shop.] Image Credit: WSJ
[The first Google Shop.] Image Credit: WSJ


The new Google Shop is based inside the Currys PC World outlet on Tottenham Court Road, as noted by The Wall Street Journal. Although Google has branded the space, the company isn't making any direct sales income; instead, all sales are going to Dixons Carphone.

Dixons Carphone CEO Sebastian James elaborated that the Shop is "billboarding" for Google, and not being rented out. He nevertheless described it as "fantastically expensive" for Google to have constructed, and an experience that can't easily be reproduced.

One attraction in the space is a surround-screen installation where people can fly over the planet using Google Earth. Another, the "Doodle Wall," lets people use digital "spray cans" to do a version of Google's logo and share it on social networks.

Google has said it is planning to open two more London-area shops later this year, within Currys PC World stores in the boroughs of Fulham and Thurrock.

The Google Shop is a step up from American pop-up stores, and the Chromebook showcases in US Best Buy locations and various Dixons outlets in the UK. The company has also had its own staff working in chains such Walmart and Office Depot.

The new effort may be intended to draw mindshare away from Apple, which has its flagship London store a short distance away on Regent Street.

It's unknown though if Google will venture into a fully owned and operated retail business, which could put the two companies in even fiercer competition. Two years ago the Journal reported that Google was considering the possibility, but so far it hasn't taken any concrete steps. Now it has an increasing number of hardware products it could potentially sell, including phones, tablets, Android Wear watches, and Nest home automation gear, as well as a variety of accessories.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 247member
    Sounds like Microsoft and SAMSUNG and Sony copying efforts that have either failed or have minuscule sales and mindshare.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,692member
    Google store will make people sick as Google Earth will give people nausea due to motion sickness. Thanks, Google.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,122member
    Just walk in and tell the staff you are searching for something.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,118member

    Well at least it doesn't look like a Apple Store!!!  Still what all does Google Actually make and sell?  I guess Chromecast?  All the Phones and computers just run their OS, and yet they need a store to promote everyone else?  Not that it matters.  It's be just as empty as Samsung and Microsoft stores.

  • Reply 5 of 42
    This will just make people see how cheap and tacky their stuff is. It's like a Kia dealership next to a Tesla dealer.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member

    Sooooo...what exactly do they sell?  I'm not seeing hundreds of "targeted" random ads hanging from every square inch of the store to barrage customers.

  • Reply 7 of 42
    silenciosilencio Posts: 134member

    PRO: At least it doesn't look like an Apple Store clone.

     

    CON: It looks more like a trade show booth than anything.

     

    Like everything else Google does besides search and advertising, it'll be a loss leader / branding exercise and not a way to actually turn a profit.

  • Reply 8 of 42
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member

    1) Currys and PC World were places to avoid when I lived in London. When Macs were sold at PC World the whole thing was a shameful travesty. 

    2) Curry's at Tottenham Court road is hardly near Regent Street. You can easily walk it but it will take you 15 - 20 mins. 

  • Reply 9 of 42
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,840member
    Yay! I can finally get support for my Google Glass and my Google TV. I hope they'll sell a model of the Google Barge!!!
  • Reply 10 of 42
    I'm guessing the photo wasn't taken during a busy shopping period... though I could be wrong ;)
  • Reply 11 of 42
    I like it comment by spamsandwich.


    Just go in there and ask the staffs verbally everything you would normally ask Google like maps, direction, search. LOL.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 493member
    Just go in and ask them if they can give you directions to the nearest Apple Store.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    jm6032jm6032 Posts: 147member

    Nothing but mirrors? When I first read the headline and wondered what they could possibly sell, I remembered that for Google, the product is you...

  • Reply 14 of 42
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Curious if they're going to provide any tech support for Nexus Phone/Player line and Google Chromecast. I'd be surprised if they did. I see this store as a way to get people to use Google apps over Office or iWork.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    It's unknown though if Google will venture into a fully owned and operated retail business, which could put the two companies in even fiercer competition.


     

    Maybe Google could buy up and re-brand all those Microsoft Stores.

    Last I heard there were what, 63?

  • Reply 16 of 42
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Just walk in and tell the staff you are searching for something.

     

    Just say "OK Googler.  Search for 'Apple Watch Edition price and availability.'"

  • Reply 17 of 42
    qvakqvak Posts: 86member

    Let's be brutally honest. Does anyone here care about this development at all? Does the typical android user even care about a "premium" retail experience?

     

    Will they do on-site service like Apple? Or is it just a point of sale?

     

    I think they seriously misunderstand their market. This sounds a lot like Samsung's main strategy... throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

  • Reply 18 of 42
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    This will just make people see how cheap and tacky their stuff is. It's like a Kia dealership next to a Tesla dealer.

     

    This is a silly comparison. Kia sold 580k cars last year, and the Tesla Model S is not known for a high-quality luxury experience compared to other cars in its price segment.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    satchmo wrote: »
    Curious if they're going to provide any tech support for Nexus Phone/Player line and Google Chromecast. I'd be surprised if they did. I see this store as a way to get people to use Google apps over Office or iWork.

    Google already offers tech support for their products. Real live people answering real live phones. This in-store center sounds more like sales only.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Presumably Google stores are places you can go to buy data about people or purchase advertising space?
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