Google had partnered up with Currys PC World to open its first branded store, located in the UK. The Google Shop is based inside the Currys PC World store on Tottenham Court Road in London, a popular area for electronics retailers in the capital.
Rather than a Google owned store, the front is more of an advertising exercise and mutual arrangement between the two businesses. All sales revenues goes directly to Dixons Carphone, but Google doesn’t have to pay any rent for the space. Inside the store, a range of Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and Chromecast TV services are all available for purchase. The shop also holds tutorials showing consumers how to use the devices and various apps.
Inside the store, there is a large screen “Portal” that allows people to fly around the world using Google Maps and a “Doodle Wall” complete with digital spray-can.
“With the Google Shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer,” – James Elias, the U.K. marketing director for Google.
Although many electronics retailers are shifting more and more products online, there is still a lot to be said for hands-on experience before purchasing. The Google Shop could be as important for company brand recognition as it is useful for consumers looking to find their ideal gadget.
In addition to the Tottenham Court Road store, Google plans to open two more London-area shops. Currys Pc World stores in the London borough of Fulham and the Essex borough of Thurrock are both set to feature Google branded stores later in the year.