Fans of the company's Chromebooks, Nest devices, Pixel phones, and other gadgets will have a new must-visit starting later this week, when Google officially opens its first and only dedicated retail store in New York City.
The search giant's new Google Store will officially open at 10 a.m. Thursday, in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, not far from attractions including the High Line, the newly opened Little Island, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
"It's like walking into a dream," said Ivy Ross, Google's vice president of hardware design, UX, and research, who served as creative director for the space. "It's the result of a huge collaboration with many people across the company."
The 5,000-square-foot superstore, located at 76 Ninth Avenue and designed by Suchi Reddy of the New York architecture firm Reddymade, will be more than just a place to buy stuff, Google officials tell Travel + Leisure.
"It's designed as an 'exploratorium' so you can explore on your own, or you can grab a sales associate for help," Ross said.
Various parts of the store replicate environments – think kitchen, living room, a childs's play room – to better contextualize how consumers might use Google gear. There's also a small theater slash demo room. Other nooks, like an "imagination space" and "sandbox space," as Google calls them, give shoppers the chance to try out technology like Night Sight, a low-light camera mode that's available on the brand's mobile devices.
"Computing is pervasive throughout our lives," said Jason Rosenthal, Google's vice president of direct channels and membership. "There's a huge segment of our customer base that's really looking for an in-person, immersive, physical experience to better understand how Google products and services fit into their lives."
The company's full lineup of hardware will be available for purchase, alongside in-store exclusives including hats and other apparel – and even Google dog toys.
The store also makes a statement about sustainability in retail. The facility has earned the highest rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, thanks to low-flow water systems, construction materials made from post-consumer plastic, and other environmentally friendly features.
"It's not just LEED but it's LEED Platinum, which very few retailers in the world have achieved," Ross said.
The store opening comes at a pivotal moment in New York City, as the destination reopens after a year-plus of pandemic restrictions. The city, which recently waived hotel taxes in a bid to make visiting cheaper, is gearing up for an epic summer and fall, with blockbuster art exhibits, new attractions, and plans for a 60,000 attendee concert in Central Park.
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