Google Shop marks company’s first serious steps into the world of physical retail

google shops best buy shop
TechCrunch
Google might have its online Google Store, but the furthest it’s gone so far in the physical world involved the Experience Store in New York City, which allowed folks to try out the company’s latest devices. However, with Google Shops set to launch across Canada, Google has taken its first true steps toward establishing a physical retail presence, reports TechCrunch.

The first thing to note about Google Shop is that it seems to be a blend of the Samsung Experience and an Apple Store. Like the former, Google Shops establish themselves within select Best Buy locations, and like the latter, they will host a number of activities for folks to partake in. Since space is rather tight, Google Shops feature modular pieces of furniture that are there when you want it and not there when you do not.

The hope, according to Google director of retail marketing Janell Fischer, is that Google Shops will foster a sense of community for those who visit.

“We love it when people can come in, discover, play, and have fun, and it just happens to be with technology,” Fischer said. “So we’ve really tried to layer on lots of different immersive sorts of experiences, some that are direct demonstrations of the product and product features, but some that are more exploratory and fun.”

As for those experiences, Google Shops feature the latest and greatest from Google and its partners, including the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, Daydream View, Chromecast Ultra, and Google Home, along with a slew of accessories and other products. Google Shops also feature a multiscreen interactive display called Portal and “Google Guides,” full-time staff who are Google contractors that go through product-focused tutorials.

Fischer noted that Google Shops will not remain static and, instead, constantly evolve as new products continue to be announced.

“The great thing about this space is we can quickly update it when new products come out,” Fischer said. “We can also quickly remotely update all of the digital content, so we’ll also be creating new apps for the Portal area that are specific to this space.”

Alas, U.S. residents will need to play the waiting game, since Google Shops look to be limited to the U.K. and Canada for now. However, if Google Shops prove to be popular, expansion will surely be the next conversation topic.

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