Skip to main content

Take a look inside Google’s first-ever retail store

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Google opening a retail store is that it’s taken this long to do it. For sure, it had few gadgets to sell in its early days, and maybe it’s been thinking hard about how to avoid the mistakes that felled Microsoft’s brick-and-mortar efforts, but now the company has finally decided to take the plunge.

The Google Store Chelsea Opens June 17!

The first-ever Google Store will open its doors at 15th and 9th in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 17.

Google/Paul Warchol

As you’d expect, it all looks very stylish inside, at least according to a video posted by Google a day before the store’s opening. In fact, with hordes of curious customers about to burst through its doors, it’ll probably never look this good again.

Visitors to the Google Store will be able to try out the company’s full range of devices, from Pixel phones, Pixelbooks, and speakers to Nest devices, Fitbit wearables, and Stadia games.

Features include the Google Imagination Space, described as a “17-foot-tall circular glass structure with interactive screens” showcasing a variety of Google products and technologies. It’ll kick off with a Google Translate exhibit offering a real-time translation into 24 languages of any phrase you care to utter, before explaining how Translate’s artificial intelligence technology enables it to do this.

You’ll also find rooms that let you experience real-life scenarios using Google products — think demonstrations of Nest devices in a simulated living room, or a demo of Pixel’s latest camera features inside a custom light installation — and s0-called Discovery Boxes designed to “highlight the beauty form and features” of Google devices while also offering more information about each product.

Below: A gallery of images showing the interior of the new Google Store.

Rather like the Apple Store and its Genius staff, Google’s store includes a Here to Help support desk to assist with any Google-related issues you might have. The desk will also serve as a pick-up point for online orders and offer a range of repair services such as fixing cracked screens on Pixel phones.

Again, taking a leaf out of Apple’s book, the new store includes a special space for events and workshops that could include things like photography lessons on Pixel and YouTube concerts, Google said.

With a previously stated commitment to sustainability, Google promises that the materials used to build the store have been carefully sourced. It’s also keen to point out that the new store is one of fewer than 215 retail spaces in the world to have picked up a LEED Platinum rating, “the highest certification possible within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system,” according to the company.

In the past, Google has experimented with pop-up stores, but its new Manhattan site looks very much as if it’s going to be sticking around. Having a retail store gives the company a chance to properly connect with customers, learning more about how they use its devices and what they’d like to see from it in the future. Google hasn’t said whether it plans to open more stores in the U.S. or globally. It’s safe to say the new store’s performance over the coming months will have a big influence on such a decision.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Google Pixel 6 pricing looks set to match Apple’s iPhone 13
Google Pixel 6 Image Composite.

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been officially revealed by Google, but there are still a few unknowns about them. Namely, when will they launch, how much will they cost, and when we'll we be able to buy them and put them in our pockets. A new report today from tech YouTuber Brandon Lee, which is based on information from a European carrier source, sheds some light on pricing, availability, and color names.

The first major bit of information is the pricing. The Pixel 6 is rumored to cost 649 euros and the Pixel 6 Pro 899 euros. This translates to $760 and $1,050, respectively, if we were to do straight conversions to U.S. dollars. But taking into account taxes mean that the Pixels would more likely than not be priced between $699 to $799 and $999 to $1,099, respectively. By comparison, the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro start at $799 and $999, respectively, and the Pixel 5 started at $699.

Read more
Apple and Google are going to need to open up their app stores in South Korea
The Apple logo is displayed at the Apple Store June 17, 2015 on Fifth Avenue in New York City

Apple and Google will now be mandated to allow for alternate payment systems for apps in the App Store and Play Store, respectively, at least in South Korea. The move comes as part of an amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act that bars companies from forcing third-party developers to use their in-app payment systems for in-app purchases. It will also require app store operators to speedily approve apps and prevent them from deleting apps from the stores without a reasonable explanation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple and Google's app store practices have come under scrutiny over the past few years. In addition to rules around what content may or may not be admitted, developers have increasingly expressed ire about the standardized 30% commission required for each in-app transaction. This comes as a result of both companies mandating the use of their respective billing systems, with exceptions being made to select types of apps (food delivery services, for example.)

Read more
Google made $8.5 billion in gross profit off the Play app store in 2019
A MacBook with Google Chrome loaded.

A court filing that was unsealed on Saturday shows that Alphabet Inc's Google Play store generated $11.2 billion in revenue -- and $8.5 billion in gross profit -- from app sales, in-app purchases, and app store ads over the course of 2019. The story, initially broken by Paresh Dave at Reuters, is a rare glimpse into the actual numbers behind Google's app store.

Typically, Google will group up the Play store's financial results with some other service in its earnings report, which effectively obfuscates the store's numbers. For example, Play is not mentioned by name at all in Google's numbers for the second quarter of 2021. This isn't illegal or even particularly unusual for a tech company, but it also means there hasn't been any reliable way for anyone outside Google itself to get an idea of just how lucrative the Play Store actually is until now.

Read more