Google announced plans to open its first physical retail store, located in New York City, as the technology giant steps-up visibility of its hardware products including Pixel smartphones.

The company stated the first ever Google store would offer consumers the chance to try its hardware and services, including Pixel phones, Nest devices, Fitbit wearables and laptop PCs. The store is scheduled to open later this year.

Google explained it chose the Chelsea neighbourhood as a “natural extension” to its longtime commitment to the city, with more than 11,000 employees located in New York.

Consumers also have the option to buy products online and collect in-store.

Retail gamble
Google has toyed with establishing a retail presence in the past, setting up pilots to showcase its products, but opted to focus on its online presence.

Major rival Apple has a strong retail offering, with 510 stores spanning 25 countries.

However, the play has not been as successful for everyone: Microsoft, for example, in 2020 announced the closure of all its retail outlets, 11 years after opening its first.