Google’s First Retail Outlet

14 Photos of Google’s First Retail Outlet

Here’s a post containing 14 photos of Google’s first ever retail outlet, ‘The Chromezone’. (actually, 13 photos, plus one of Apple’s equivalent for comparison).

There were a couple of articles about this over the weekend, but none with photos. I happened to be on Tottenham Court Road (London), so thought I’d take a look and take a few pictures.

The first thing I found was, it is not an actual store, it’s a concession in a larger PC World store. The second thing I found was, when I asked if I could take a few photos, the Google staff said “fine with us”; the PC World staff said “we’ll sue you if you take any photos”.

I asked “if I come back later & I don’t ask, can I take photos?” and they said “we’ll find you and we’ll sue you”.

Anyway, I dropped the lovely Anina – Dixons’ head of PR – an email, waited 2 days, & she very kindly sorted things out.

So here are 9 facts I picked up from the staff, followed by the photos:

  1. It only really sells one product. You can buy accessories, but really they’re just selling the Samsung Chromebook.
  2. This is actually the third phase in trialling the concept. The first phases were a hotel where you could ‘check out’ chromebooks, and Virgin Atlantic at O’Hare airport where you could pick one up for the flight.
  3. This is the first real ‘retail store’. Google are now in the process of setting up a second location in Essex.
  4. The guy in charge (Jonny) had been flown over from the states to set things up.
  5. The staff are Google employees. They’re all really nice, very friendly, and know the products back-to-front.
  6. They’ve sold out of their stock of Chromebooks already. Wouldn’t tell me how many, but said “it’s a lot”.
  7. They’re only selling one model at the moment (the samsung), in ’3G’ & ‘wifi’ versions.
  8. An Acer model – available in the US – will hit the UK early next year.
  9. The plan is to trial these ‘soft launches’, and scale up if they work well. As this one’s already sold out of their product, the chances seem good of this continuing.

 

The Photos

 

First off – some context. Here’s the Apple concession in the same store:

 

Now here’s the ‘Chromezone’ setup – 12 chromebooks, 2 benches, lots of shoppers, 1 member of staff:

Much prettier eh? Compare the 2 photos: they’ve out-Appled Apple.

And from the other angle:

 

& looking out into the store:

 

Here’s the Google employee who was there at the time – the very helpful Shah:

 

A close-up of one of the machines:

 

And one of the spec sheets:

 

And here’s a customer who seemed to have gone dressed to match the store:

 

And a shot so you can see the area in context:

 

& finally the outside of the store – a standard Currys/PC World – no mention of Google:

That’s it. What do you think? Will they scale these up to full stores? Will they die a rapid death? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Thanks a lot for reading. Do share this if you found it useful/interesting. Do complain in the comments if not!

3 replies
  1. Kev Strong
    Kev Strong says:

    Thanks for the photos Dan. I quite like it to be honest.

    The lag of Google logo shows, for me, that they are wanting to set Chrome up as a side brand in itself, much like Apple did with iPhone/iPad etc.

    Reply

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