Are ‘neighborhood stores’ what Google fans have been searching for?
Google has announced plans to open its second store in Brooklyn’s hip Williamsburg’s neighborhood with a distinctive community vibe and a promise of more to come.
“The Google Store Williamsburg will be the first of our ‘neighborhood stores,’ offering similar hands-on experiences with our products and services as our flagship store, but in a more intimate setting that celebrates the unique neighborhood we’re in,” wrote David Williams, director, retail operations at Google, in a blog entry.
Like the flagship, shoppers will be able to try Google’s Pixel 6 Pro phone, Nest Audio, Chromebook laptops, Fitbit watches and Pixel Buds as well as learn about services ranging from phone plans to gaming and storage.
“You’ll also get the chance to picture everyday life with our products through interactive displays that show how our hardware and services work together,” said Mr. Williams. “For example, you can explore Google Fi phone plans, discover which Pixel color best suits your personality or learn what goes into making our phone cases more sustainable.”
The store will also feature “Grab & Go” and online pick-up sections, as well as a “Here to Help” desk for repairs.
Unlike the Chelsea store in Manhattan, the Williamsburg location will have “local events to celebrate Brooklyn,” including guided tours to test Pixel photography features. A lounge with couches will also offer space for local events and workshops.
In addition, the store features an installation by a Brooklyn-based artist exploring the relationships between architecture, community and the environment.
The localized design differs from Apple’s more-uniform approach and the few experiential stores operated by Microsoft and Samsung. The opening comes as Amazon recently announced plans to close all 68 of its Amazon Books, 4-Star and pop-up shops and as Google appears to be readying a bigger hardware push.
Sundar Pichai, CEO at Alphabet, Google’s parent, said on Alphabet’s first-quarter analyst call, “In hardware, Pixel 6 is a huge step forward for the Pixel portfolio, and it’s been great to see the response from Pixel users. It’s the fastest-selling Pixel ever, and we are building broad consumer awareness of the brand and making good progress.”
- Google is opening its second store in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section – Google
- Google is opening its second physical store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – TechCrunch
- Google’s New York City store is part retail site, part ‘exploratorium’ – CNET
- If you google ‘Google store’, you’ll find one opening in NYC – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Google’s localized approach to its planned Williamsburg location and the growth potential for its neighborhood store concept? How important are stores to Google’s hardware sales growth?