Don’t want to wait for your new Google smartphone or netbook to ship? Now you can just drop by Google’s new physical retail location, if you’re in London at least. The Google shop opened Wednesday; the site is a “shop in a shop” located within the Currys PC World at Tottenham Court Road.
Google has taken a cue from its electronics rival Apple in opening its new physical location. In addition to purchasing devices, consumers can go to the shop to learn how to use their Google products, and can also immerse themselves in Google software.
The Google shop includes a screen installation called “Portal,” which uses Google Earth to let patrons simulate “flying” to any area of the world. At the Doodle Wall, graffiti artists can virtually spray paint their own versions of Google’s logo, which they can then share on social media. At the Chromecast Pod patrons can watch videos from Google Play or YouTube.
“We think it’s a genuinely unique try-before-you-buy experience,” James Elias, Google’s head of U.K. marketing, said in a statement. “ With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life.”
Google has also revamped its online store, setting up store.google.com to offer its devices instead of having its product shop be a part of the Google Play Store. The new Google Store is available only to U.S. customers and sells Google’s smartphones, tablets, Android Wear smartwatches, the Nexus Player, the Chromecast dongle, the Nest smart thermostat, Google Chromebook and Google accessories.