Google to open first physical store in New York

The tech giant will showcase and provide support for its hardware range and smart home gear

Google will open its first physical retail store in New York this summer, where customers can try out its hardware and services while also securing in-person technical support.

In a matter of months, customers can visit the Google Store to browse the firm’s range of hardware units, namely its Pixel handsets and notebooks, Nest smart home devices, and Fitbit wearable devices.

Visitors will also be able to see how its hardware and software services can be used together “in a variety of immersive ways” in a series of demonstrations and workshops, Google claims.

Customers can either go to the store to purchase products directly or place an order online before picking up their hardware in person. The company will also provide expert staff to offer technical support, fix a cracked screen, or help with installations.

“The new Google Store is an important next step in our hardware journey of providing the most helpful experience of Google, wherever and whenever people need it,” said Google’s VP for direct channels and membership, Jason Rosenthal.

“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.”

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This will be the first physical retail store that Google has opened in its nearly 23-year history, and follows in the footsteps of rival tech giants reaping some success from opening physical retail spaces.

Apple has long managed a suite of Apple Stores to showcase its hardware and offer support to customers, while Amazon has recently opened more Amazon Fresh till-free supermarkets, including one in London this year.

Microsoft once enjoyed some success with its physical stores, even opening a branch in London in 2019, although it announced last year that it would eventually be closing all of its locations permanently.

Google's new store will open in the Chelsea neighbourhood of New York, which is also home to one of its largest campuses, which caters for more than 11,000 Google employees.

The firm describes the opening of a physical retail store as a natural extension of its longtime commitment to the city.

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