- Google is planning to launch new versions of its Google Shops store concept inside Best Buy stores across Canada as the Internet search giant continues to evolve its retail strategy to focus more on selling its own gadgets.
- The new spaces within the Best Buy stores are designed to showcase consumer electronics like the Google Pixel smartphone, but also are intended to foster a community feeling, complete with space set aside for interactive events. TechCrunch describes the decor as "distinctly Google in its aesthetic, with light wood grain and gray fabric pairing up with playful hints of bright colors (the Google standbys)."
- Google said the Best Buy store-within-a-store environments are designed differently than other similar spaces that it opened in 2015 inside three Dixon's stores in the U.K., mainly because Google has launched many of its own new devices since then, and needed to rethink how to display them.
Google is very gradually — and in a very roundabout, somewhat meandering sort of way — getting around to establishing its own version of the Apple Store. (Sorry, we forgot Apple doesn't want us to call them stores anymore.) At least, we think that's what Google's up to.
It is clear that Google, like Apple, sees itself as a gracious host of community gatherings, and a company with its own inimitable style to impart on the world — though, you know, not in an overbearing sort of way. Also, like Apple, Google has gadgets — many more gadgets than it had to offer just a few years ago, including the Pixel, Daydream virtual reality headset, Chromecast Ultra, Google Home, and more.
The difference between Google's evolving plans and Apple's retail history is that Google has not even announced a plan to open its own stores yet. It has announced a pop-up store in New York City, and has now developed stores within stores with two different brick-and-mortar retailers: Best Buy and Dixon's. However, it still appears to be tweaking its retail strategy, and revamping it as needed as it rolls out more devices. Also, aside from its NYC pop-up, it hasn't broached the notion of launching any sort of store concept in the U.S. market.
Overall, given what Apple and other major consumer product brands have done to establish their own retail presence in recent years, it certainly seems like Google is eventually going to have standalone Google Shops or Google Stores, and that we're likely to see them in all the markets where we now see Apple stores, but Google sure is taking its sweet time getting there.
Or, who knows — maybe Google is content to work out confined spaces provided by established retailers. But if that is the case, it seems like a waste of a brand that — no offense to its retail partners — is bigger and more valuable than the store signage hanging on the buildings in which its quaint, little Google Shops now reside.