back to article Google to venture where Apple soared and Microsoft crashed – physical retail

Google is to open its first physical retail store in New York, giving eager customers a chance to fondle the company's products in person. Well, as in person as pandemic restrictions currently allow. Google notes that shopping has changed "forever" due to COVID-19 so plans to restrict numbers of punters and keep everything as …

  1. katrinab Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    They opened a store in London about 6 years ago.

    1. Danny Boyd

      What do they sell there? Except free copies of Google Chrome, of course.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Chromebooks, pixel phones, nest gadgets, fitbit stuff

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does the current storefront look like the picture?

      I'm sorry if it does. Those shoe box retail/apartment buildings are horrible to look at. Completely flat, no detailing, all look the same (across the world), helpless and abandoned trees that are growing up thinking this is the world they're meant for. These buildings are so depressingly corporate, so anti-life.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        I agree entirely, fellow economic unit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Have a Pabst on me, to wash down your Soylent

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Have a look on Google Street view at the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Grafton Way. Scroll back in time to about 2016-2017. You will see it in a very drab 1970s building.

        The most recent drive-past shows that it is now a Dell/Alienware shop.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Grafton Way

          Appropriate that UC Hospital has an entrance on that road. Appropriate because I believe they treat burns there.


          Katrina's comment reminds me: I forget the source of this, but someone once asked the question: "How many roads are there in London W1?"

          Any guesses?

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Grafton Way

            There are 6 roads in London W1.

            Charing Cross Road

            Edgware Road

            Euston Road

            Marylebone Road

            Old Marylebone Road

            Tottenham Court Road

            Lots of Streets, Places, Lanes, Mews, etc; but only 6 Roads.

            The City of London only has 1 road, kind-of. It marks the boundary and not all of the road is in the City.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: Grafton Way

              The answer used to be one: Tottenham Court Road. I believe all the others are WC, NW, W2, etc., but since they've stuck suffixes on W1 postcodes, things must have changed and they've reallocated them.

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Grafton Way

                With Edgware Road for example, only a very small section on one side of the road between Marble Arch and Bryanston Street is in W1.

                Probably the same for most of the others and Tottenham Court Rd is the only one completely in W1.

                It looks like it is new high density developments that need more postcodes than what was originally there.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They don't need a shop to sell your personal data.

    1. Danny Boyd

      Oh, but they surely do. If you pay with your credit card... You see?

      1. sreynolds Silver badge

        I thought that these were the places where you could physically experience on your person what it is exactly that they are doing to your data.

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Do you...

    have to turn on Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS on before you enter the store?

    You don't need to turn location services on, as its never off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you...

      They'll have a bit of kit that detects any iPhones and sounds a siren 'Warning Apple User On Board'

      Then 10 salesdroids will descend and begin the conversion process.

      I am joking but TBH, I don't see the point of this store. They have a mighty high bar to get over if they are to compete with the Apple Store. MS tried several times and failed so did Samsung.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you...

        Samsung have 14 stores in the UK with more on the way.

    2. Chris G

      Re: Do you...

      Does that mean you will be greeted by (user) name as you approach the entrance.

      Then you will be 'invited' to provide fingerprint, retinal, stool and blood samples to make your entry and journey experience in the store more rewarding.

      I can only think they have decided that having scraped your entire online identity, it isn't enough so they want a physical presence to scrape too.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: you will be greeted by (user) name as you approach the entrance.

        If you've previously bought a product with an RFID tag which has not been removed then this can happen. However it is probably more likely you will be silently tracked around the store. Clothes shops are early adopters of this tech.

  4. karlkarl Silver badge

    Why don't they save on property rental and just fill a landfill with their crippled / artificially obsolete devices directly?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, I'd keep my resume up to date if I worked there

    These vanity stores never go anywhere. Google and MS both have the same issue, where there hardware, good or bad, is always a second thought to the core biz.

    Apple however, is a hardware company first. So they make enough stuff to have a walk in store make sense.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, I'd keep my resume up to date if I worked there

      Google do have some hardware, though: Chromebooks, Pixel phones, Nest gizmos, Chromecast, Fitbit, maybe a place to try Stadia. It all seems a bit more together and useful than what was in the MS stores.

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, I'd keep my resume up to date if I worked there

      I think it might have more to do with how well thought out it is.

      Xiaomi have a "Mi Store" near me, and it is hopeless due to completely untrained, unmotivated staff and awful stock management.

      The last time I was there, one of their scooters was lying down across a whole aisle and I had to move it myself, despite 3 staff members having nothing to do.

      Fortunately the shelves were only half full, so I had no problem finding somewhere to put it.

  6. Social Ambulator


    That’s really exciting. Uh, as exciting as a Microsoft Store. Or something.

  7. DS999 Silver badge

    How long will it last?

    Google is pretty famous for starting something and then quietly killing it a year or two later. I'll bet this store is no more by the end of next year.

    1. gnu4ever

      Re: How long will it last?

      I'm still in shock at how they actually finished building the whole thing.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Chocolate Bar

    "broken devices fixed and guidance sought from actual humans..."

    Will there be in a Genius[Chocolate] Bar?

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    No need to register at the counter

    The sales droid will have your details automatically whispered to their ear piece.

    Oh hi, Mr Johnson.

    And what can we do for you today?

    How’s that rash?

    1. TimMaher Silver badge

      Re: No need to register at the counter

      Is that Boris Johnson?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        No. Boris Johnson doesn't have a rash, he is a rash.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Boris is given a personalised Carrier Strike Group jacket with the words "PRIME MINISTER" embroidered so that anyone encountering him on board will know who it is...

          Whereas, a day later, Queen Elizabeth II visits the same vessel, and she does not get a personalised jacket. Or may be they meant to, but the marketing budget was spent on the jacket for Boris and a box of wall paper for him to take home as a memento of the visit

          1. Warm Braw Silver badge

            personalised Carrier Strike Group jacket

            Rather a snug fit, I thought. He'll need a new one for his next visit if the butler continues to deliver the organic food parcels. Maybe he'll be determined to fit into it by his wedding.

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          he is a rash.


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    F**k Google (Internet rule 1)

    It’s bad enough it being unavoidable online we do t need these f*****s cropping up in the physical world too.

  12. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "Are you looking for anything in particular today, sir?"

    "A phone."

    Cue avalanche of 4,620,000,000 phones* from the stockroom.


    1. Chris G

      Re: "Are you looking for anything in particular today, sir?"

      Not so much 'Are you looking for anything' as 'We are going to sell you X based on your browsing, viewing and social media history.....

      There's a fair chance that a Google shop will double as a purchasing behavioural lab where they will analyse every step, eye movement and finger twitch, so that they can sell your in store shopping behaviour to other shops.

  13. macjules

    Microsoft Experience Center

    AKA, 'The Interactive Bork Center"

  14. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Big Brother


    I look forward to learning the store looking sharp with my new radiolocation pendant and ear tag. The latest models, of course.

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