First Google Store takes an opposite approach from Apple retail

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 18
Google is launching its first brick-and-mortar retail store on Thursday, and the design of the location is being billed as an "anti-Apple" experience.

Credit: Google
Credit: Google


The first Google Store, located on the ground floor of the company's New York headquarters, will allow customers to explore and purchase first-party Google hardware like Pixel and Nest devices. It'll also offer repair services and how-to sessions.

However, Ivy Ross, Google's vice president of hardware design, says that the store will offer more than that. "This space is designed to be a physical expression of what Google stands for," Ross told Fast Company.

Credit: Google
Credit: Google


The store itself takes up a full city block and boasts 5,000 square feet of space. Unlike Apple Stores, which feature a stark minimalist and futuristic design, the Google Store will be outfitted in much more natural aesthetic with wood floors and furniture.

"We wanted the space to continue the design principles that radiate from our product. Our philosophy is that technology must fit into our lives, not stand out. We want this space to feel human because we believe that technology is a tool to amplify our possibilities as humans," Ross said.

Credit: Google
Credit: Google


According to Fast Company, this results in a space that feels "more like an interactive museum or an exploratorium than a retail store." For example, there are walls featuring every product in the Nest family, with name plates underneath.

Elsewhere, there are furniture areas designed to mimic specific rooms of a house, like a kitchen or children's playroom. "Discovery boxes" feature three-dimensional animations that explain certain aspects of Google products. Three "sandbox" rooms let users try out different Google hardware technologies.

Credit: Google
Credit: Google


There's also a large installation near the middle of a store allows customers to immerse themselves in a specific Google software feature. When it opens, the feature will focus on Google Translate. Customers can say a phrase and see it in 24 different languages.

The first Google Store was designed in close collaboration with award-winning architect Suchi Reddy. Ross and Reddy have collaborated in the past on an exhibit for the Milan Design Fair.





"Some brands, I think, are having trouble making the leap toward experiential [retail]," Ross says. "The beauty of this brand is that it is inherently experiential. My job was to bring that beauty to life."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    However, Ivy Ross, Google's vice president of hardware design, says that the store will offer more than that. "This space is designed to be a physical expression of what Google stands for," Ross told Fast Company.
    Basically, a camera will follow you everywhere, and into the washroom where custom fixtures will weight and measure your deposit and log it for future reference.
    cpsrodewmeBeatsmknelsonnapoleon_phoneapartbaconstangpulseimagesStrangeDaysandrewj5790hexclock
  • Reply 2 of 46
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    Gee, I don’t recall seeing wood anywhere in Apple stores… except in every Apple store I’ve ever seen. So the “anti-Apple” experience apparently means a friendly veneer slapped on evil.
    dewmeBeatspulseimageshexclockthe1maximusrepressthisRayz2016Anilu_777williamlondondysamoria
  • Reply 3 of 46
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,294member
    "Our philosophy is that (data harvesting and behaviour profiling) technology must fit into our lives, not stand out." Ross said.
    (fixed that)
    GabybaconstangStrangeDaysCluntBaby92raybozeus423repressthisAnilu_777dysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 46
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,408member
    At least it isn’t a complete knockoff like the Huawei and Samsung stores. Her PR talk consists of ideas that Apple has already said. The natural look and minimalism is just like Apple also. The shelves are a complete knockoff.

    I’m not sure how they’re gonna fill the space with customers excited to check out the latest iKnockoff, Wear crap or spyware devices.
    mangakattenStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 46
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,130member
     This space is designed to be a physical expression of what Google stands for,”
     So as you come in, someone will rifle through your pockets, copying down all your personal information and any receipts. Then they’ll look through your phone. When you leave, someone will follow you out to your car and watch where you go afterwards, writing everything down on a notebook that other stores get to look through.
    Beatsrobin hubernapoleon_phoneapartgerardbaconstangpulseimagesStrangeDaysiqatedoamar99CluntBaby92
  • Reply 6 of 46
    XedXed Posts: 961member
    MplsP said:
    “ This space is designed to be a physical expression of what Google stands for,”
     So as you come in, someone will rifle through your pockets, copying down all your personal information and any receipts. Then they’ll look through your phone. When you leave, someone will follow you out to your car and watch where you go afterwards, writing everything down on a notebook that other stores get to look through.
    LOL I was going to go the pickpocket route.
    BeatspulseimagesStrangeDaysAnilu_777dysamoriaDBSyncwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 46
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 899member
    Yawn…snooze…
    pulseimagesflyingdpDBSyncwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 46
    It would be great if you could go to a kiosk there, type in your name and it would print out all the info they have on you!

    And for a small fee, you could type in anyone's name and download the info.
    StrangeDaysiqatedoBeatsrayboAnilu_777hydrogenmaclin3DBSynckiltedgreenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,382member
    First photo still looks like an Apple Store ripoff -- wooden tables, stools, white product boxes orderly arranged on wall shelves...these aesthetics just did not exist in CE retail prior to Apple Stores, to my knowledge.

    So much for anti.
    BeatsRayz2016williamlondonDBSyncwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 46
    However, Ivy Ross, Google's vice president of hardware design, says that the store will offer more than that. "This space is designed to be a physical expression of what Google stands for," Ross told Fast Company.
    Basically, a camera will follow you everywhere, and into the washroom where custom fixtures will weight and measure your deposit and log it for future reference.
    Guaranteed this was everyone’s first thought when reading that line.
    BeatsCluntBaby92Anilu_777maclin3Wgkruegerwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 46
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 143member
    Google is an experiential brand?  Never mind "inherently experiential?"

    Uh oh.  When one of you VPs doesn't understand the strength of the company's brand, there may be trouble.

    Google's most popular, non-fleeting products are tools -- search, mail, and maps.  As well as others like Chrome, and Android.

    Its most profitable product is advertising, which forms the foundation on which all the others rest.

    A case can be for made for YouTube, but it has its own brand equity.  The one that does fit the bill is Photos, so that is granted, but it's not Google's trademark, nor does it overshadow the rest of the market like its other products do.

    Experiential retail is hard to do right, inefficient, and the benefits are questionable, which is why it's not common for retailers to attempt it.  But, like Microsoft's stores, let's see how long this one lasts, without even considering Google's penchant to kill products it loses interest in.

    As for the architectural feeling of this store, vs. Apple's, it is fair to say that Google's store exudes more of a warm feel.

    Apple's typical, workmanlike stores do tend to be homogeneous.  But when comparing flagship to flagship, its stores do have a variety of styles, so to compare this one Google store to various Apple flagships, it's going to vary.

    However, the contention that Google's store is more "natural" because it has wooden furniture and flooring isn't quite right.  Apple's stores have wooden furniture as well, and marble, granite, and sandstone are natural materials as well, are they not?
    edited June 16 raybod_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 921member
     Unlike Apple Stores, which feature a stark minimalist and futuristic design, the Google Store will be outfitted in much more natural aesthetic with wood floors and furniture.”

    My Apple store has wood floors and furniture.
    zeus423DBSyncwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 46
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 921member
    MplsP said:
    “ This space is designed to be a physical expression of what Google stands for,”
     So as you come in, someone will rifle through your pockets, copying down all your personal information and any receipts. Then they’ll look through your phone. When you leave, someone will follow you out to your car and watch where you go afterwards, writing everything down on a notebook that other stores get to look through.
    ROFL times 1,000,000,000,000
    zeus423Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 46
    amar99amar99 Posts: 78member
    How deceptive. Trying to make people feel safe and comfortable about a company who tracks, steals, and sells your data, then proceeds to stalk you across the Internet to influence your buying decisions. I don't care how comfy your sofa is, not stepping foot in a Google store, ever.
    edited June 16 CluntBaby92baconstangDBSyncwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Strange that Google would open it's first store in a dying city - NYC!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 46
    Reading this story you would think it was Google that was billing the store as "anti-Apple" but the didn't. In fact, the spokesperson from Google that is quoted in the Fast Company article didn't mention Apple at all. AI, choice to put the words in quotes without attribution was either intentionally misleading or just really poor writing. I'd guess that the generous thing to assume is the latter as that at least isn't unethical. 
  • Reply 17 of 46
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,832member
    To enter the store, you must hand over you wallet and have a friendly associate follow you around the store recording everything you do. 
    Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 46
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 108member
    If it's truly anti-Apple, then it will be anti-successful.
    williamlondonWgkruegerDBSyncbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 46
    fred1fred1 Posts: 804member
    Just what are all these products that fill a whole city block?  Is this store really expected to get people excited about the Google brand? Good luck! 
    I don’t see this leading to any more of these stores. 
    baconstangDBSyncwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46
    danoxdanox Posts: 560member
    Anti Apple no customers, the staff out numbers the customers very similar to the Microsoft stores…..
    williamlondonDBSyncwatto_cobra
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