Almost 20 years to the day after Apple started its first retail store, Google is eventually following suit.
The company declared Thursday that it is opening its first retail store, named Google Store, next month in New York City. The retail store will be located under its company offices in Chelsea, which employs many of its more than 12,000 employees.
Some of the gadgets for sale will include Nest products, Pixelbooks, Pixel phones and Fitbit devices.
Following Apple’s Genius Bar system, Google will employ “experts” to help customers assist in solving issues, help with installations or fix a cracked Pixel screen. In a tweet, the company called it “a significant step in our hardware journey.”
“Many customers still want to try the hardware before they buy it- and learn what it sounds like, feels like and looks like in their desk or on a hand,” it added.
The company has previously said its hardware sales are a “multi-million dollar business,” but the firm does not break out sales data for its products.
In recent years, the firm has opened temporary Google shops in cities including Chicago, London and New York, allowing people to attend workshops, see how products work and make purchases. Some of Google’s temporary locations have infused interactive, fun touches, such as a Pac-Man game displayed on a big screen and a doodle wall.
However, Google has relied on other retailers and its website to sell its products. Amazon and Best Buy are the leading retailers for Google hardware products. While Apple has seen profit opening retail stores but others have struggled. Microsoft opened its retail stores over the years by creating destinations where people could try software, services and hardware. Still, last year the company announced it was closing all of its 85 Microsoft Stores to focus more on online sales.
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