Google has opened its own retail store? Say What! Yes its true, Google has launched their own slightly smaller equivalent of the Apple Store. Funny enough the first store is not located on the same continent as where Google is headquartered, but rather over in the United Kingdom. The store only sells Google Chromebook laptops and a few accessories.
The store is located within a branch of Currys and PC World on London’s Tottenham Court Road. This “store within a store” setup is just a trial run for level of success. The space is limited to 285 square-feet and appears to be a silent entry into the consumer retail store space. The store has been dubbed the “Chrome Zone” and Google has yet to put much commercial press behind this latest venture.
The London Evening Standard has reported that Arvind Desikan, the head of Consumer Marketing for Google in the UK & Ireland, has stated the following regarding the retail store test:
“It is our first foray into physical retail. This is a new channel for us and it’s still very, very early days. It’s something Google is going to play with and see where it leads…We found anecdotally that when people tried the device and played with it, that made a huge difference to their understanding of what the Chromebook is all about. People will be able to go in and have a play with the devices. We want to see whether people understand what this device is all about and monitor their reaction when they try it out.”
Google has done research showing that 80% of laptop sales are from stores than through other venues. There will be another shop opened in the UK in early October and more test shops will be opening up in the coming months in other corners of the world.