Bridging the gap between offline and online, Google last week opened up its first pop-up store. Not content with living on computers across the world and walking side-by-side with consumers on their mobile and tablets in the real world, the store is a world debut and Google's first venture into the physical retail environment. Located in London's electric avenue, Tottenham Court Road and aptly named Chromezone, it will sell Google's Chromebook during the busy Christmas retail period.
The opening comes off the back of Google's research that shows 80 per cent of laptop sales are driven through offline shopping - the real-world touch and feel still clearly proving important to customers when buying premium goods.
Despite playing down the move, the step is very significant for the company. It offers Google an entirely new channel to drive revenue from its existing product portfolio and also helps the brand to go one step further to becoming a tangible entity in the lives of consumers. Achieving relevance in the real world is desirable to any internet-based company - with online start-ups replacing digital pioneers on a monthly basis, it offers a long-term security not based on algorithm.
At the moment, the pop-up store only stocks the Samsung-made Chromebook and an assortment of accessories such as headphones, but if it's strides in the mobile and smart TV space give any indication, then it soon could offer a one-stop hotspot that meets all of our modern-day consumer technology needs.
Only time will tell if it will be a successful relocation, but until then - welcome to the neighbourhood, Google.
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