Google might be opening a retail store in Chicago

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google’s latest plan to tackle the retail market involves a two-floor store in Chicago’s Fulton Market. If it pans out, this would be the tech company’s first permanent retail location. The space would total 14,000 square feet across several interconnected brick buildings, according to The Chicago Tribune. This planned store would be several blocks south of the company’s Midwest HQ.

This isn’t Google’s first attempt at a brick-and-mortar store, which would be a prime locale to show off its ever-growing selection of hardware products. But until now, Google’s been relegated to the occasional pop-up and “stores within stores” in the US and UK, sectioning off space to show demos of Chromebooks, smart speakers, and phones.

Google declined to comment to the Tribune, but if the rumored standalone space becomes a reality, then it would be the latest in the the company’s long line of attempts to crack the retail market. Previously, it spent millions renovating a planned 5,000-square-foot retail space in New York’s swanky SoHo district before ultimately abandoning these plans and leasing the space out instead.

Comments

with all the fake hipsters with jeans too tight to hold their phone in (that may need screen repair), the west loop of Chicago location will make an excellent Apple store once Google change their mind about the whole retail strategy.

Now, where should we set over/under? I’d put it at 2 years based on how often they changed google/android wallet/pay.

If fake hipsters wear jeans that are too tight, what do the real hipsters wear?

they wear the same thing, but roll out on a fixie rather than picking up their bimmer/audi from valet (the broke ones might uber or worse yet, bike share – and ride against the traffic…)

West Loop is not a very hipster area of the city (between Google and McDonald’s HQ’s most hipsters are probably priced out of the area).

The foot traffic is rather low, kind of confusing why they would pick such a location in the city. The restaurants bars scene is strong, but it seems like the retail store fronts don’t last very long.

don’t last very long

Sounds perfect for a new Google initiative.

That may change soon with the amount of condos being rapidly built in that area.

next time, I will type the "fake" in "FAKE hipester" in all caps… eh, foot traffic? there is plenty of foot traffic and car traffic there and even bike traffic… if you’re thinking nowhere but michgan has food traffic, then you have other issues besides dyslexia. however, i agree that retail ain’t there. then again, retail ain’t so hot lately almost anywhere in the city but mag mile.

They could’ve put this in a better place like downtown Baltimore.

not reading you here. what do you exactly mean? it could have been more dangerous, has worse traffic from frequent construction, or just further away from where google has a major office?

I think Google needs to open up retail stores. With retail stores, they would sell more of their in-house products, like Chromebooks and the tablets.

They’ve got about 3 products that they sell. What the actual fuck do they need that much space for?

Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini, Google Home, Google Home Max, Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, Clips, Pixel Buds, Daydream View, Next Lock, Nest Hello, Nest Thermostat E, Nest Alarm System, Nest Camera, Nest Protect, not to mention all the accessories.

Chromecast 4K, Pixelbook in 3 configurations…

Also the rumored products – two new models of Pixelbook (Atlas and Nocturne), Pixel Watch, Home w/ smart display, and the Yeti game console.

Google’s product portfolio warrants dedicated retail space just as much as Apple’s does.

We’ll be curious to see the layout and design of the store. The Microsoft Flagship in NYC is quite Apple-like in the way they invite customers to test their products, although of course Apple has its own distinct white minimalist look. Any predictions on how Google will go, style-wise?

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