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30
dec
2021
Bertrand Leseigneur
Retail Innovation Correspondent USA
4 minutes

Google opened in June 2021 the doors of its first permanent physical store in New York. It is located on the ground floor of its huge Chelsea headquarters.

This is of course not the first Google store, the company has had several pop-ups featuring its products in the past, but it is the first to be permanent. Typically, consumers will be able to purchase Google hardware, explore the current and future catalog of Google products, and benefit from technical support.

Concept

After years and dozens of pop-up store experiences, Google is finally launching its physical store. Located under the offices of its New York headquarters in the Chelsea neighborhood, the store classically carries the brand’s products, including Pixel phones, Nest Smarthome gadgets, Fitbits and various other devices. Like Apple, customers can take advantage of a “Genius Bar” to get advice on all of the brand’s products and services or to have their Google products repaired. But beware, the comparison with an Apple Store, located a few meters away, ends there!

Indeed, Google has stepped up the work of testing products at the point of sale. He scripted his store to promote testing of all his products and make visible the services provided by each of them. Aesthetically, the brand has also chosen warm colors like wood to feel almost at home!

Google also says it wants to learn and reap many benefits from opening the store by directly asking consumers about their needs. However, to date nothing has been deployed in point of sale on this dimension.

Why visit the store

1.Test the Nest Home Service Hub

In one of the test rooms, customers can test the Nest hub. The proposed scenario? Sit on the sofa and don’t be surprised to feel haptic jerks that simulate a person knocking at the door! Your delivery person arrives at the doorstep of your house and Nest is there to answer! You can simulate pressing the Talk button to ask him to leave the package at the door.

You can also control lights, cameras, TVs or any other compatible device from your Nest Hub from a single dashboard. Nest being the dashboard of the house, you will find the product in the different rooms of the store, such as a bedroom.

2.Speak a foreign language with Google Translate

One of the most visual experiences is the demonstration of Google Translate. The Google Translate Experience was created with a Japanese artist. The visitor can whisper a sentence and the structure will respond in return the same sentence in 24 languages, while displaying the text on a screen. Impressive !

3.Immerse yourself like at home

The space is warm and offers new ways to experience Google through its phones, screens, speakers, portable devices and more.

This allows the customer to sit on the many stools and sofas in the main space as well as in rooms that Google simply calls “sandboxes.” The goal: to test specific product experiences. Go to one of the rooms to test the “night vision” function of the Pixel phone’s camera, for example.

But Google also wants to show that all these experiences correspond. The customer should feel like they are in a connected house! For example, if you launch Google’s Stadia games service, you’ll see that you can start a game from a phone and then continue watching it on a TV screen.

4.Look for the word “Leed” in the store

An effort on the design of the point of sale was made by Google. So the first thing the consumer notices are the beautiful displays of physical and digital products visible from the store windows. The place is also intended to be warm and conducive to discussion with employees.

Finally, Google also wants to show that it is concerned about environmental issues. Each element of the store has therefore been carefully studied and selected. For example, the veneer on the walls is a soft gray hickory wood certified “responsible”. Each lamp is energy efficient and the furnishings were created with a local craftsman from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The floor coverings were made from recycled materials.

The Google Store Chelsea is also one of 215 retail locations in the world to have achieved LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the highest certification for green building rating systems.

5.Buy a souvenir

Although smartphones and other electronic gadgets are the store’s main attraction, there are also colorful complementary branded items. “Tote bags”, socks, notebooks or even colorful basketballs from the Google brand.

There are even baby clothes there… After all, they are also future Google users! Here too, the brand’s choice is to offer complementary items that help give an image that is less tech but more focused on the home and therefore the daily life of its customers.

Bertrand Leseigneur
Retail Innovation Correspondent USA
Basé à New York, Bertrand est le correspondant Innovation Retail de l'Echangeur aux USA, il décode les derniers concept stores américains !!
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