What you need to know
- Google is opening up its first physical retail store in New York City.
- Located in Chelsea, it'll focus on showing off the company's #madebyGoogle line of hardware.
- The new store is slated to open in summer 2021.
Google today announced the opening of its first retail store. Located in the Chelsea part of New York City, the store will be a retail hub for people interested in Google's hardware products. This means you can go there to try out the newest Pixels, listen to the sound of the latest Nest smart speakers, click-clack on the best Chromebooks, and so on. For Pixel owners, Google is also adopting one of the best parts of the Apple experience — on-site customer service. The company says you'll be able to go there, get your device checked out, and have it repaired with minimal fuss. They'll even offer workshops and how-tos throughout the year to help you get the best out of your device.
At the moment, Google is still mindful of COVID-19. This means you'll need to wash your hands, wear a mask, and socially distance while in the store. There'll also be a limitation on customer numbers in the stores, and surfaces would be cleaned multiple times — though the company notes its health and safety procedures could shift depending on the CDC guidelines.
While the Apple Store was credited as being a big part of what made Apple successful, not every company has been able to replicate this. Microsoft tried with its own Microsoft Store, but the company shuttered all of its stores last year amidst the pandemic. Google had also explored a flagship retail store in SoHo a couple of years ago, but scrapped the project in 2015.
On the other hand, Google now has a lot more hardware that could directly appeal to consumers compared to both Microsoft and Google circa 2015. From Pixel Buds, Nest smart speakers, and Pixelbooks, having an arena where it can showcase its best products is certainly part of the calculus here. With leaks of the Google Pixel 6 showcasing a less bland and interesting hardware design, and Android 12 basically being one of the most beautiful iterations of Android yet, Google is clearly getting serious about hardware this year after what looked like a slump.
The Google Store in NYC will open for business in summer 2021.
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