Over the past couple of years there have been various stories about Google following in Apple or Microsoft’s footsteps and opening retail stores. Adding fuel to that fire, last year the company opened a pop-up “store within a store” to sell Chromebooks in London. There were suggestions that if all went well Google might pursue a full-blown retail strategy.
Earlier today several news outlets reported that a new Google retail store would be housed in Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin. Reportedly it will occupy roughly 1,323 square feet of space in that facility. The plan calls for the store to be open to the public as well. The news was broken first by Bloomberg.
This has excited many bloggers and tech journalists who are either personally intrigued by the idea or see it as part of Google’s more aggressive consumer push of late. And there’s a certain logic to it now, with Chromebooks, Android handsets and Google TV.
However, we spoke to Google and the company downplayed the notion of this being the start of a larger retail push. Google suggested this would be similar if not identical to the “Google Store” at the company’s Mountain View headquarters — which is more a gift shop. That store is open to employees and members of the public accompanying Google employees.
We also have this statement from Google:
We already have an online store selling things like Google T-shirts and pens. We have the option of a small space doing the same in our Dublin office but we’ve not made any decisions, it’s simply a planning application.
It’s still possible that Google will go further down this retail path later on. For now, however, it remains mostly hypothetical.
For those who really wanted to believe in a Google retail store, there is at least a virtual Google Online Store that sells Google-branded merchandise.
Google also recently expanded the number of items that can be purchased with its logo. See our Google Doodles Store: Get Special Google Logos On Clothes, Stamps — Even Skateboards! story for more about that.