You've heard of Apple Stores, now get ready to walk into the first physical Google Store
Google might be doing a lot of things right this year (for a change) in both the hardware and software spaces, preparing what looks like the most... unique smartphone out there after designing quite possibly its most boring device ever in 2020 while also joining forces with Samsung to revive and vastly improve Wear OS ahead of the prospective launch of a long overdue Pixel Watch.
the first Pixel handsets to be powered by a homebrewed chipset, the search giant is officially gearing up to open its first brick and mortar store.To better showcase its first-ever in-house Apple Watch rival and
2021 is shaping up like an unusually eventful year for Google
That's a lot of firsts for a company that's been around since 1998, and it could (further) suggest that the US-based tech titan is fi-nal-ly looking to take the consumer hardware business (a little more) seriously.
Of course, one physical store does not a summer retail juggernaut make, although coincidentally, this big opening in New York is set to take place at some point this summer. That probably means the event will precede the announcements of both the Pixel Watch and Pixel 6 duo, while the 5G-enabled Pixel 5a mid-ranger could make it to market in time for the Chelsea, Manhattan Google Store inauguration.
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are by far Google's most highly anticipated products of 2021
In addition to Pixel phones, Big G plans to also put its Nest-branded smart home products, Pixelbooks, and yes, Fitbit wearables on display for visitors to "experience" before making a (fully informed) buying decision.
Additionally, there will be "experts" (cough, geniuses, cough) "on hand" as well to help customers with device installations and various other issues of both a software and hardware nature. Last but certainly not least, you'll obviously be able to pick up your online order if you so desire.
The beginning of a beautiful expansion effort?
Google explains its decision to select NYC as the home for its first-ever physical retail store by highlighting the company's local 20-year history, as well as an existing urban campus in the Chelsea neighborhood that already accommodates "many" of its 11,000+ employees residing in the "Big Apple."
Speaking of Apple, you shouldn't be surprised to hear one of the Cupertino-based tech giant's 270 stores located in the US alone is relatively close to where Google aims to begin its retail counteroffensive at last.
For the time being, there are no words on any sort of expansion plans (either domestic or international), but if the first offline Google Store proves successful, something tells us 2021 could mark the beginning of a beautiful diversification effort on the search giant's part.
West 14th Street Apple Store in New York
In the short term, of course, it might be wise of Big G to keep its expectations relatively low due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the New York vaccination pace is certainly impressive, visitors will still be required to wear masks, use hand sanitation, and practice social distancing indoors, at least if guidance from local and national authorities doesn't change until the store actually opens its doors.
Perhaps more importantly, the number of "guests" inside will be "limited" at first to ensure customers "feel safe during their shopping experience", which emphasizes the somewhat odd timing of this expansion into the physical retail channel.
Then again, the move may have been in the works for quite some time, according to rumors dating at least as far back as 2018. Say what you will about 2021, but it sure looks like a much better year to try one's hand at the whole physical retail business than 2020.