Google is Opening a Retail Store in New York City

Posted on May 20, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Chrome OS, Fitbit, Google, Hardware, Mobile, Pixelbook, Smart Home with 23 Comments

Google said that it would open a retail store location in New York City where fans can buy Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit devices, and more.

“Today, we’re announcing our plans to open Google’s first-ever physical retail store, in one of the greatest cities in the world: New York,” Google’s Jason Rosenthal writes. “The new Google Store in Chelsea will be a space where customers can experience our hardware and services in a helpful way. We’ll be opening our doors to the public in summer 2021.”

Google’s entry into retail stores was unexpected. And it comes less than a year after Microsoft announced that its own retail stores, which were at the time closed because of the pandemic, would shut down for good. But Apple has obviously had tremendous success with its own retail stores, and even Amazon, which spent its first few decades killing off retail competition, has opened a variety of retail locations and purchased Whole Foods.

The new Google Store appears to follow the Apple model. It will sell Google-, Nest-, and Fitbit-branded products, of course. It will let website shoppers pick up their orders at the store. And there will be product experts on hand to troubleshoot issues, fix broken devices, and answer questions.

And because we’re still dealing with the pandemic, Google will require masks, hand sanitation, and social distancing, at least for now.

“We’ll clean all spaces multiple times a day,” Rosenthal says of its COVID plans. “The number of guests inside will be limited to ensure our customers feel safe during their shopping experience, and easy pickup options will also be available. We will continue to closely follow the guidance of the local and national authorities to adapt our health and safety procedures as needed.”

The coming Google Store is part of an existing Google campus in the neighborhood that has 11,000 employees, and Google says it sees the retail space as a natural expansion of its commitment to the city.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Google is Opening a Retail Store in New York City”

  1. SvenJ

    Good luck to them. Hope they do as well as Microsoft.

    • Paul Thurrott

      You want them to fail? Why?

      • naro

        Why would you want Google to succeed? The company abuses it's monopoly in advertising and search, scroogles it's users, and makes bad decisions routinely when it comes to consumers, just like Microsoft. Lots of people cheered at Microsoft's short comings, so why not hope Google doesn't further their abusive monopoly? I hope Google sees substantial competition on all fronts, I think Google is bad for the world. I've used Bing for years because I'm not a fan of Google.

        • Paul Thurrott

          It also provides the most amazing and useful services on the Internet, including Search, Maps, Photos, and many others, and billions of people rely on them every single day. Solving Google's abuses is a governmental/regulation issue and is happening. Living without these services is just punching yourself in your face to spite... something.
      • winbookxl2

        I really did like entering the Microsoft Stores, they will be missed.

  2. StevenLayton

    Of course to be allowed to walk into the store you’re forced to hand over all of your personal information first.

    • cnc123

      I imagine that everything Google does is driven by the data mining team. "If we open a store, what kind of data mining can we do on distance to store, time in store, body language, facial expressions, purchase history and browsing habits?"

  3. ponsaelius

    I wonder if Google will go for a retail strategy like Apple. Here in the Uk within 5 miles I have 2 Apple stores and 2 Samsung stores. Before the pandemic both seemed to be reasonably busy. Apple have been in most UK cities for about 10 years.

  4. ronv42

    The store will be filled with Bluetooth beacons to track every movement and pop ads for things you may have looked at.

  5. madthinus

    At least they get the location correct. One of the few places a store like this makes sense.

  6. Truffles

    What's the business case for this? Apple went in to retail because its products weren't being given any display space in the old-fashioned computer stores, but that's not really the case for Google in modern retail chains.

  7. Truffles

    "The number of guests inside will be limited..."

    In once sentence Google exceeds an entire WWDC output of pomposity.

  8. Chris_Kez

    I don't think this is actually the beginning of some kind of national push to open retail stores. I would bet this is more along the lines of an "experience" store. Samsung has something similar about a 10 minute walk from here. Apple of course has a big store just a block or two from here as well. There is also a ton of foot traffic from Chelsea Market across the street. Given how much real estate Google has on this block it is kind of surprising they haven't put in a public-facing retail space already.

  9. winner

    Pretty soon NYC will have "Tech Row": Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter....

  10. harmjr

    I now own a pixel 4a5g (thanks to Paul) I am loving it. But I don't get having the retail stores like MS did. Maybe some key stores to be more show and tell space but please Google don't try to compete with the fruit on this.

  11. codymesh

    well I guess if Nest and Fitbit had stores then I guess the now combined Google hardware business can have a store too.

  12. scovious

    If only there was some precedent for a tech company with dozens of partners selling their products and then that tech company went all in on a first party strategy that alienated their partners... Maybe Google is so hard set on copying other companies' products and tactics that they don't stop and think.

    • jchampeau

      Apples and oranges. Apple and Google sell smartphones, with which consumers have personal relationships. Their work lives and their personal lives are on their phones. Microsoft doesn't sell anything that really engages the masses like that. Surface and Xbox products are niche and expensive; most people don't have them. But everyone has a phone in their pocket and many really look forward to their next one. This distinction is why it makes sense that Apple and Google would open retail stores while Microsoft closed all theirs. At the mall not far from me where there's an Apple store and used to be a Microsoft store, you could see this distinction on display: lines at Apple would be 50 deep while the Microsoft store would be mostly empty.

  13. johnh3

    I dont se Google go for retail stores as same way as Apple around the world. Its very expensive. Sony had own stores to before, and they closed all.

    But I guess they may go for a limited numbers to show what they got.

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