An inside look at where it will sell pixels, Chromebooks.

Google Store Chelsea

Photos courtesy of Google and Paul Warchol

Google on Wednesday showed a look inside its first retail store, which opens Thursday at 10 a.m. ET in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

The store is Google’s first permanent retail location and shows that it aspires to create a place where consumers can come and buy their Pixel phones, Chromebooks, Nest devices, Fitbit wearables and more.

It’s like an Apple Store, but for people who want to buy and get support for Google products. Google has previously created pop-up temporary stores, but this location is designed to be a permanent fixture at the company’s New York headquarters.

It’s a unique decision for Google because, unlike Apple, the company doesn’t get most of its money from hardware products. More than 80% of Alphabet’s revenue comes from digital ads, which generated $ 147 billion in revenue last year. But the store can help Google learn more about what customers want from hardware, and it can even help people understand that Google builds its own devices, ranging from thermostats to phones to laptops.

Google Store Chelsea

Photos courtesy of Google and Paul Warchol

In a press briefing earlier this week, Google said it wanted to create a space where consumers can come and test all its devices and services in a way that shows how they will work together in different places. So, for example, you have separate rooms where people can see how the Pixel phone’s night vision camera feature works, or how the Nest Hub’s smart screen works inside a bedroom and lets you answer a smart doorbell. Another room shows Google’s Stadia gaming service and how a customer can start a game on a phone and then continue it on a large TV.

Google Store Chelsea

Photos courtesy of Google and Paul Warchol

One area, a 17-foot round glass structure, called the Imagination Space, will showcase some of Google’s latest technological advancements. To get started, for example, you will have a Google Translate experience created with an artist in Tokyo. A customer can whisper a phrase and it will whisper the same phrase to you in 24 different languages, at the same time displaying the text on a screen.

Google Store Chelsea

Photos courtesy of Google and Paul Warchol

Google will also offer a full range of support for its consumer products and services. He said you can repair cracked screens on Pixel phones the same day if possible, repair Nest products, and even help people better understand their Google account and any Google software like ChromeOS or Gmail. Customers can make an appointment to come to the store for help. It will also sell subscriptions to products like Stadia.

Google Store Chelsea

Photos courtesy of Google and Paul Warchol

It also plans to provide other experiences that you can find in an Apple Store. It will host hands-on sessions and deep dives around the products, for example.

Google Store Chelsea

Photos courtesy of Google and Paul Warchol

The company hopes to learn from the store by seeing what consumers want and then incorporating it into its products. He said he decided to open the store now because he saw pent-up demand for in-person experiences and that merchants in New York City are seeing an increase in retail traffic.

However, it will continue to provide security protocols to protect against Covid. It will follow state, local and federal guidelines, employees will continue to wear masks, the number of people allowed at one time will be limited to begin with, and there are hand sanitizer stations throughout the store.

Google Store Imagination Space

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