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Digitally-native and DTC shift to brick-and-mortar continues, Google announces its first physical retail store, indicating more to come

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Google has announced the opening of its first-ever brick-and-mortar store. This is nearly 22 years after the platform was founded. Now, Google is the leading search engine throughout the world, and the company plans to plant their new-found physical roots in New York City. 

The new Google Store in Chelsea will be “a space where customers can experience our hardware and services in a helpful way.” The doors will open to the public this summer. 

Google’s new store concept will integrate physical elements that place an emphasis on interaction. Customers will be able browse the latest products, ranging from Pixel phones to Nest products and more. They will also have the ability to try out technology for themselves. Experts will be in-store to serve as a helping hand to visitors, ensuring that everyone is getting the most out of their devices. 

“Throughout the store, visitors will be able to experience how our products and services work together in a variety of immersive ways, which we’re excited to share more about when the doors open.”

Experience and community are the core themes behind Google’s first-ever store. These elements are at the heart of retail’s 2,000-year-old brick-and-mortar model. Google is not just selling their products in a space – they’re providing an experience that drives community and creativity in immersive ways. 

The NYC store is aimed to elevate Google’s commitment towards community. Opening a location in Chelsea was a strategic move for the company. “The Google Store Chelsea will be part of our urban campus in the Chelsea neighborhood, which is home to many of our 11,000+ Google NYC employees. Google has been in New York for the last 20 years, and we view the store as a natural extension of our longtime commitment to the city. “

Google’s first brick-and-mortar store is just a stepping stone towards future growth for the brand. The brand’s philosophy is based on consumer feedback and convenience, and this will allow them to have one-on-one interactions with their customers – driving the physical elements of retail. 

“We look forward to meeting many of our customers and hearing their feedback on the store, so we can continue to explore and experiment with the possibilities of a physical retail space and build upon the experience.“

This isn’t Google’s first experiment in physical retail, either. The search platform has dabbled with pop-up shops in the past. If Google expands their brick-and-mortar footprint, this will be an ideal way they can offer customers to try-out their products across the US. 

Google has likely been planning their venture into this realm of retail for quite some time. With their past experience in the space, they might be following Amazon’s pursuit. Amazon started as a sole direct-to-consumer brand, but now has expanded into physical retail in a variety of ways. 

According to an article from Digital Trends, Google’s NYC store will succeed for a number of reasons. First, Google offers a wide variety of tech for consumers. Google-branded merchandise will also continue to expand in the future. Second, Google hosts a variety of events that bring in consumer interaction. And third is their strong marketing push. Google’s name on its own represents an ingrained presence in consumer’s minds. 

Google’s shift into the physical retail space is a common theme we have seen across the industry. Retailers are making the move to brick and mortar for numerous reasons, but the main one is due to the experience and community it provides. Digitally-native and direct-to-consumer brands are all following in pursuit, and here’s just a few examples:

Source: Google Blog, Google Store – CNBC, Google Will Succeed – Digital Trends 
Photo Credit: Google

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