Google is taking to the streets this week with two pop-up stores opening on Thursday, Oct. 19—one in New York City’s Flatiron district and the other in West Hollywood in Los Angeles. The purpose of both: to showcase, demonstrate and whet appetites for its latest Made by Google products.
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The psychedelic pop-ups are open through Dec. 31, just in time for the holiday shopping season—and just as the Made by Google store in New York’s Soho area did last year.
Both events had opening night preview parties last night, with Jaden Smith in LA and Solange Knowles performing at the Made by Google NYC Pop Up launch party.
Venturing north of Soho, this time around the NYC pop-up is being called Google @ Flatiron as it’s located at the south end of the Flatiron District just west of Union Square—at the corner of 110 Fifth Avenue and 16th Street—while the LA store is located at 8552 Melrose Avenue. Both stores will be open from 10AM to 8PM daily in their respective time zones.
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) October 13, 2017
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Visitors can check out products from the Made for Google collection unveiled on October 4th, including Pixel 2 smartphones, premium Chromebook Pixelbook and the Pixelbook Pen stylus.
In addition to trying the Daydream View VR headset, visitors can check out other Made by Google devices: Pixel Buds, Bluetooth headphones able to translate 40 languages and for smart homes, the Google Home Mini (being promoted through a separate series of mini pop-ups in Canada and the U.S.) and Google Home Max.
The New York City pop-up was teased by Google’s iconic colors in the windows of the former Joe Fresh flagship at Fifth and 16th.
It’s a chance, of course, for hands-on interaction by consumers with Google’s latest products and to purchase whatever they like.
It’s not the first time that Google has created a physical store and brand experience to bring consumers into its expanding world of smart devices. Google, Interbrand’s #2 Best Global Brand, is also promoting its new donut-sized Mini smart speaker with donut-filled pop-ups in the U.S. and Canada.
Last year, Google’s pop-up shop on Spring Street in New York’s downtown Soho neighborhood featured the Pixel, Google Home, and Daydream VR, but for demo only. Anyone who wished to purchase could follow up at Verizon or Best Buy retail stores.
That pop-up experience included an IKEA-esque living room and kitchen setup for testing Google Home’s features in a cozy setting, as The Verge noted: “a Daydream VR area where you can sit on swivel low-poly rock chairs and try on the VR headsets, and a cool lighting installation where you can get your photo taken with a Pixel phone, which is meant to demonstrate the Pixel’s low-lighting photography capabilities.”
Customers were greeted by a “Pixel wall” with multiple rotating colored blocks (aka pixels) displaying different images: “a physical representation of the screens we look at constantly, and it definitely sets the quirky tone that you’ll find throughout Google’s space.”
North of the border, Google last year partnered with Best Buy in four Canadian cities with Google shops in Mississauga’s Heartland Town Centre, along with three others in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Janell Fischer, Director of Retail Marketing at Google, commented at the time: “We’re proud of the collaboration with Best Buy and their new Experience Stores, particularly as the concept aims to enhance the traditional way of shopping and aligns with Google’s immersive approach.”
“Google shops bring a whole new way for shoppers to experience and interact with our products, complete with trained Google guides who will be onsite to offer one-on-one tech help.” Shoppers could experience Portal, an immersive super-sized display and ‘fly’ over the planet through Google Earth.
Google opened its first branded store in the UK in 2015 when The Google Shop launched at the Currys PC World flagship in London. The in-store boutique sold Android devices, Chromebooks and Chromecast dongles, offered tutorials on Google products and demoed Google Apps.
The brick-and-mortar holiday retail tradition began in 2013 when Google opened a series of pop-up shops to show off the Nexus 7, Chromecast, and the latest Chromebooks called Winter Wonderlabs. In and around six cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sacramento, Washington, DC, and Paramus, NJ., a giant snow globe shot slow motion video of consumer’s antics in a CGI snowfall.
“The Wonderlabs signal an even further interest by Google into retail, something that it hasn’t had much of a need for until recently, as The Verge commented. “While it’s hard to imagine a larger expansion for now, even this limited marketing shows Google has some serious confidence in its latest products.”
Google is creating pop-up donut shops across the US to give away the Home Mini — here's what it's like inside pic.twitter.com/jKMdemjtcf
— Tech Insider (@techinsider) October 13, 2017
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) October 12, 2017