Google opens first physical store


Google has opened its first physical store in New York: the flagship store mainly displays the company's electronic devices, but also services such as Google Translate and YouTube.


Each way considered

Internet giant Google is now also penetrating the shopping streets: in New York City, the brand's very first physical store has opened its doors. The search engine giant wants to let consumers discover its range of electronic devices, from Pixel smartphones to Nest smart thermostats to Fitbit wearables, but also showcase its digital services.


The project was four years in the making. Before the physical store was actually built, a full-scale mock-up had been erected in the company's "retail hangar". Every element, from layout to technology, was tested in advance. "We considered every immersive way people could learn about all the features of our Pixel phones and Nest products, and see how the best of Google’s software and services come to life when using them", a press release says.


Tower of Babylon

The result is a flagship store with a LEED Platinum sustainability rating, thanks partly to the carpet made from recycled materials and furniture made from cork and wood. The most striking architectural element is most certainly the Google Imagination Space, a circular glass structure measuring over two metres in height to display the digital products. Interactive screens show different services continuously, but Google Translate is the first to be displayed: consumers are invited to talk to the screens, instantly translating into 24 languages simultaneously. Google also promises a sneak peek at what the translation system looks like on the back end.


Other products can be discovered in boxes with transparent LED screens as walls and in the so-called "sandboxes", where shoppers enter true experience rooms. A living room has been recreated to prove the usefulness of the Nest smart home tool, while in another room, enthusiasts can play on Google's Stadia game consoles. There will also be regular events and workshops, from photography classes on Pixel to YouTube concerts, promises the Silicon Valley giant.