Google Opens Up Its First Ever Store, with Chromebooks, in London

It's only an experiment for now, but it could lead to a line of retail stores, like Apple

By on October 1st, 2011 13:21 GMT

Google has finally gotten into the retail store business. Well, it's just dipping its toes, but it could be a first step for the company that is increasingly interested in hardware and will even make its own, once it completes its Motorola acquisition.

Google is now opening its first store, specifically, its first mini-store, showcasing Chromebooks and all of their wonders.

It's a full retail experience, interested customers can play with the Chromebooks and get assistance from the Chrome experts.

"Many things in life, like football and rock music, are best experienced in person. Chromebooks are no exception," Google's Laura Thompson wrote.

"So this week in London, we opened our first Chromebook experience inside a retail store," she said.

"The brand new Chrome Zone is located inside the PC World / Currys superstore on Tottenham Court Road. Spend time with a Chromebook, discover cool web apps and chat with our Chrome specialists," she added.

It's Google's first physical retail experience, but it's also the first time and the only place you can see a Chromebook before you buy it in the UK.

For Google, it's just an experiment, one that will run for three months, through the holiday season. But Google wants to learn from it and it could decide to go bigger next time.

"We’ll be opening Chrome Zones in additional locations in the United Kingdom over the next few months, so stay tuned. If you’re in London, do drop by and say hello," Google said.

The fact is, laptops (and phones) sell mostly in stores and sell much better in stores than online, like Google found several times. The original plan for the Google Nexus One was to sell it exclusively online. It failed. Google also wants to sell Chromebooks mostly online, but it is making them available at physical stores as well.

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