For a long time Google was known simply for their online products, and nothing else. However, as Android took off and the Nexus devices, like the Nexus 6, started to go on sale, Google quickly became known for selling their own devices. With the rise of Chromebooks, this trend has only continued with the help of partners like Acer, HP and Samsung. In the UK, Google has worked with Curry's and PC World to bring 'Chromezones' to stores, areas where users can try out Chromebooks and other Google products with the help of a nearby Chrome Specialist on hand. Now, in London, Google is opening their very first fully-branded store to the public.
The store is going up inside of another Curry's PC World store, this time in Tottenham Court Road and this is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. It might be housed inside of someone else's store, but this is the first time Google have opened up a store ran directly by them, and the first time that a store covers everything, and not just Chromebooks. ITV News had the chance to speak to Google UK's head of marketing, James Elias and he had this to say: "We think the time is right for us to launch this bigger store-in-store experience now that we have so many amazing devices. It's a global first for us and it's all about creating a brand new and, we hope, very unique experience for our customers to try our devices and try the best of the web. First and foremost, we're a web company and we wanted to create an experience that was 'web first', so absolutely it's a place that people can come and enjoy our devices and understand how they work together. But as much as anything else it's about what people do with those devices and we wanted to create fun, playful, magical experiences."
Google's area inside the store will feature displays full of Android smartphones, tablets and of course Android Wear watches, but they've also come up with ways to show off their online services in a physical manner. There's a virtual graffiti wall that will allow customers to design their own Google Doodle for the homepage as well as a setup showing off Google Earth with a surround monitor setup. As well as this, there will be advice for all ages on how to stay safe online and other tips to help people online and how to use Google products and services.
This is the first time that we've seen Google open something like this, and we're sure it won't be the last. Right now, Google has been working closely with the Dixon Carphone group – the owner of Curry's and PC World – to rely on their retail expertise and shop space. In the future though, we could see Google opening and running their own stores if this first attempt is a success.