Google is taking its biggest step yet into the world of bricks-and-mortar retail.
On Wednesday, the Internet giant opened its first branded store in London, which is being used to showcase a range of Google products, including Chromebooks, Android phones and Chromecast dongles.
Unlike the Apple Store, however, the Google store is really a store within a store. In this case, it’s housed inside of is Currys PC World, a UK electronics retailer.
“The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years,” James Elias, Google’s UK marketing director, said in a statement at the store launch. “With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life. We think it’s a genuinely unique try-before-you-buy experience.”
Google previously launched an in-store experience at the same UK retailer in 2011, solely for the purpose of marketing its Chromebook laptops. The shop announced Wednesday is a much more scaled-up retail experience. As you might expect from Google, it is filled with plenty of geeky playfulness, including an interactive Google Earth installation and a large “doodle wall.”
A giant Pacman game? Google taking me back to my childhood at its new London shop pic.twitter.com/xdEpgeP87R
— Sara Sjölin (@sarasjolin) March 11, 2015
For now, Google appears to be sticking with the store-within-a-store model. The company plans to unveil two more shops later this year.
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