Google is abandoning plans to open a two-story retail store in the Fulton Market district of Chicago, according to a report yesterday from the Chicago Tribune. Google was eyeing the location, a 14,000-square-foot retail space on W. Randolph Street, as of August last year, the Tribune reported at the time. Now, the space is being shown to other potential companies after Google walked away from signing a lease, the report states.
There’s no indication that Google is giving up entirely on brick-and-mortar retail. There could have been an issue with the lease terms, the building or its location, or any number of other hurdles that pushed Google to walk away from opening its first big retail store in the city. But it does seem to indicate that the process of opening such a space is complex enough to have kept Google from having its own Apple Store-like presence for Pixel and smart home devices.
Google does operate a number of pop-up stores around the country, usually tied to new Pixel releases. And it makes perfect sense that, as the company continues to expand into the smart home and the broader consumer electronics industry, that it’d want a more cohesive and controlled retail environment in the vein of the Apple Store. But it looks like Chicago residents and Google fans will have to wait a little longer for a store like that to open, if it ever does at all. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.