Google will open its first-ever permanent retail store at 76 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea, a bet that a physical presence can help showcase and sell its products, Crain’s first reported. The 5,000-SF store is part of the former Port Authority building purchased by Google for $1.9 billion in 2010.
Big Apple: The store will showcase, sell and repair the Nest thermostats, Pixel phones, Fitbits, and other physical products sold by the internet giant. Google has previously run pop-up shops in major cities, but it’s never before opened a retail store.
Be Smart: Microsoft, on the other hand, announced last year that it would exit its bricks-and-mortar operations. The permanent closing of 83 physical retail stores represented a major strategic shift, thus ending a decade-long experiment in replicating Apple’s success in retail. The first Microsoft Store opened in October 2009. [WSJ+Crain’s]
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