Google sizes up first physical retail store
Written by Hannah McGrath
Google is reportedly planning its first foray into bricks and mortar with a standalone retail store in Chicago.
The internet search giant is drawing up lease arrangements for a two-level, 14,000 sq ft retail store to sell its growing range of products, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Google, part of the Alphabet Inc. group, declined to comment on the reports, but sources close to the discussions suggested the parties were close to signing an agreement for the store nearby the company’s office in Chicago’s Fulton Market district.
Google currently sells its growing range of hardware products, including Google Home, Google Pixel smartphones, tablets and Nest smart home products, through third party retailers such as Currys PC World in the UK and Best Buy in the US.
A move by Google into retail stores would follow the launch of Amazon’s first cashier-free Go stores in Chicago and San Francisco, which followed the debut of its checkout-free grocery store in Seattle earlier this year.
The Seattle store, based in Amazon’s global headquarters, uses cameras, sensors and machine-learning to track shopper’s choices before automatically billing them as they exit the store.
Use of the store is dependent on customers downloading an Amazon Go app and scanning their purchases as they pass through a gated turnstile.