Call it a long time in the making, but an actual brick-and-mortar Google Store is coming to New York City. It’s going to be located at Google’s headquarters in the Chelsea meighborhood, which has long been an established landmark with its hard-to-miss Google signage adorning both sides of the building. Even though Google has experimented in the retail space before with its pop-up store in New York City in 2018, this time it’s looking to be a more substantial, permanent fixture. Google’s not wasting any time, either, coming off the heels of Google I/O 2021.
Whenever a tech giant such as Google makes an announcement about having a physical store to showcase and sell its products, It raises a red flag because you only need to look at another behemoth to see how it can end up being a failure. I’m talking about Microsoft, which once had flourishing retail shops across the country, but ultimately shuttered all of its stores.
The future’s unpredictable, but here’s why Google’s venture has a more promising future ahead of itself.
Sure, Microsoft has Windows to carry the company through any major crisis, but one advantage for Google in opening up a physical store is the expansive presence Google has through various categories. From Chromebooks to Pixel smartphones, Nest-branded security cameras to Fitbit wearables, and smart displays to smart speakers, Google’s name can be found on an abundance of tech products.
While I’m confident that we’ll have gadgets and accessories on hand from third-parties at the Google Store, the sheer amount of Google-branded devices overshadows anything that Microsoft had in its stores with its own homemade devices. With a broader reach thanks to its own line of products, this store will be able to attract far more consumers — especially whenever the company unveils or announces something new into the fold.
Speaking of unveilings, there’s no denying that Google attracts far more people to its events than Microsoft. I’m not trying to discredit the Redmond. Washington-based company here, since one of the most iconic unveilings I’ve had the chance to witness firsthand was Microsoft’s Panos Panay wowing of the media and crowd at the announcement of the first Microsoft Surface Book in New York City. But that’s just it, Microsoft’s time in the limelight is isolated to one hardware event that’s typically held in the fall.
Google’s events, on the other hand, go beyond just staple product offerings like its Pixel smartphones. There’s Google I/O for example, which attracts both consumers hungry for new tech and developers who are eager to unlock the true potential of these gadgets in our lives.
These events will undeniably help to draw visitors into the Google Store, so if the company ends up expanding its footprint, it’ll be a great opportunity for people to experience devices firsthand as soon as they’re announced — rather than having to wait a week or so before they’re shipped, which is the current model that’s in place.
And finally, I can’t tell you the number of people I know — not just media folks and influencers, but friends and family members — who proudly share their support of all things Google through indirect marketing. I’m talking about tagging their social media posts with @madebygoogle or perhaps the #teampixel hashtag I see whenever someone shares a photo captured by a Pixel device.
This sort of free marketing is a strong indication of how ingrained Google’s presence is in the consumer space. I’m not sure about you, but I can’t think of an original Microsoft hashtag that comes close to reaching the same popularity as #teampixel. The Google Store will benefit greatly because this can help steer those unfamiliar with all of Google’s news toward visiting the store after hearing or seeing something in a social media post.
If you’re eager about visiting the Google Store, it’s going to be located in Chelsea at the corner of 9th Avenue and West 15th Street. You can’t miss it with the giant Google signage out front. Inside, you can expect to see products made by Google — along with experts to help customers with questions or recommendations. There will be health and safety measures in place to make the shopping experience pleasant for all visitors. It will open for business to the public in summer 2021, but there’s no official date yet.
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