Clicks and mortar

E-commerce brands like Airbnb and Net-a-Porter are launching magazines. Media companies are opening cafes. And now Google has opened its first bricks and mortar retail store in the UK. 

The shop is located on London’s Tottenham Court Rd and will sell the company’s range of Android phones and tablets, Chromecast TV services and Chromebook laptops. Google has also created an online store for all its products, which is in addition to its digital store Google Play. 

This is the first time Google has opened a shop under its own name. And the development shows how online-centric stores and businesses are starting to manifest in the real world.

The store operates as a “shop within a shop” inside Currys PC World. The company plans to expand out to other Currys PC Worlds located in West London and Essex.

Inside the store, customers can test out Google’s range of devices and learn how they can work with one another from technology experts.

The store boasts a live trending screen which shows the most popular Google searches. It also has an interactive Google Earth installation and a “doodle wall.”

James Elias, UK marketing director for Google, said the space is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

“The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years,” he says. “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.”

He says the shop provides a place to try before you buy, following in the footsteps of brands such as Nike and Apple. 

The shop will play host to classes and events on topics such as online security and how to use Google devices.

There is also speculation that online store Amazon.com is opening a shop in New York.

Vend’s retail expert and content strategist Francesca Nicaso says Google and Amazon setting up bricks and mortar stores shows having a physical store is just as important as digital. 

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