Google has quietly opened its first “Google store” in London this morning. The store, which at this point only sells Chromebooks and and accessories, is actually a 285 square foot store within a store, as it’s situated inside of the Tottenham Court Road PC World.
According to a report from the London Evening Standard, this “low-key experiment” could be a sign of bigger things to come for Google in the retail space if successful. Google UK’s head of consumer marketing Arvind Desikan has this to say:
“It is our first foray into physical retail. This is a new channel for us and it’s still very, very early days. It’s something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.”
Based on research showing roughly 80 percent of laptops are sold through brick and mortar retail shops, Google’s betting Chromezone will be the best place to sell their Chromebooks:
“We found anecdotally that when people tried the device and played with it, that made a huge difference to their understanding of what the Chromebook is all about. People will be able to go in and have a play with the devices. We want to see whether people understand what this device is all about and monitor their reaction when they try it out.”
Google plans to open up another Chromezone retail shop in Essex on October 7 and more to follow as part of the pilot project. According to a Google spokeswoman, those shops will be designed in the same “Googley” spirit as the new London PC World store.