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Shop War: Google Unveils First Apple CopyCat ‘Store’

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Image credit: Bill Friar

The pop up ‘store within a store,’ which takes up a section of PC World in London’s Tottenham Court Road, is flogging Google’s Chromebook laptops and accessories, according to London’s Evening Standard.

The ‘Google Store’ or Chromezone although not standalone with bright blue product displays coupled with staff kitted out in blue shirts, will run for three months up to Christmas and mark the giant’s first serious foray into the retail business, but is something it is going to “play with,” it said.

And the new store is homely: “We’ve put a lot of effort into making it feel welcoming, homely and, dare I say it, ‘Googley,’ a spokesperson said.

“Specially trained Chromebook experts will be on hand to offer guidance and advice to shoppers.”

The stores will also allow Googlers play around with the devices at ease like Apple’s sales philosophy.

‘Have a play’

“The Chrome Zone is designed to be as open, colourful and user-friendly as possible, and there are seating areas for shoppers to enable them to try out Chromebooks in comfort.”

Another Google pop up shop is planned for Essex to open its doors later this week.

The just opened London store at present are selling Chromebooks only, although if successful, could see Google’s entire array of products including Android handsets, Motorola included, as well as other technology getting some shelve space.

There are several more stores planned for around the world and if successful could lead to Google Stores and Chrome Zones popping up worldwide, similar to Apple Store global domination. However, queues (hopefully) will be optional.

 “It is our first foray into physical retail. This is a new channel for us and it’s still very, very early days. It’s something Google is going to play with and see where it leads,”said Arvind Desikan, head of consumer marketing Google UK.

80 per cent of laptop sales are through stores, as opposed to online, he said.

“We found anecdotally that when people tried the device and played with it, that made a huge difference to their understanding of what the Chromebook is all about.”

“People will be able to go in and have a play with the devices. We want to see whether people understand what this device is all about and monitor their reaction when they try it out.”