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06/16/2021

Check out Google’s first-ever permanent store

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Customers can get up close and personal with the latest Google devices and services at the tech giant’s first-ever physical store.

The store, which opens June 16, in located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, and is housed in the 1.2 million sq.-ft. building that is home to Google’s New York City offices. The space has an Apple Store-like vibe and invites hand-on interaction with Google  services — from Google Search to Google Maps and more — and its growing lineup of devices, including Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit wearables and Pixelbooks. A gallery-styled wall displays 35 Nest products in their full range of colors and materials.

In designing the new space, Google and store designer, NYC based architect Reddymade “considered every immersive way people could learn about all the features of our Pixel phones and Nest products, and see how the best of Google’s software and services come to life when using them…,” the company said in a blog post.

The new Google Store is one of fewer than 215 retail spaces in the world to have achieved a LEED Platinum rating — the highest certification possible within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system.  Every element of the store — the materials, building processes, mechanical systems and more — was selected with an eye towards sustainability. 

The veneer on the walls is a responsibly sourced hickory, the lighting fixtures are all energy-efficient and the custom cork and wood furniture was created with a local craftsman from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The carpeting was manufactured with recycled materials and attached “in a sustainable way.”

A 17-ft.-tall circular glass structure is located near the main entrance. Called Google Imagination Space, it is outfitted with custom interactive screens that feature rotating exhibits on Google’s latest technology advances and best products. Initially, the space is offering an experience built around Google Translate and its machine learning capabilities.  

Visitors can speak to the exhibit and receive real-time translation of their speech into 24 languages simultaneously. They can also learn how the translation capabilities happen on the back end using several Google technologies.  

In addition, the store has on-site experts on hand to answer questions and offer tech support for Google devices, from fixing a cracked Pixel screen to helping with installations. It will host how-to workshops throughout the year.

Google’s move to brick-and-mortar retail comes as it has been increasing its hardware lineup. Early this year, the company closed on its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit.