About a year back, we were talking about the possibility of Google maybe opening up some retail locations of its own, much in the way Apple and Microsoft have their own stores. Just as we are now, back then we were waiting for the pending commercial launch of Google Glass, and this idea of a retail store was put forward as a way to accustom the public to the unfamiliar world of glasses-based wearables before sinking their hard-earned cash on a purchase. While Google quickly rejected that rumor, the thought stuck with us, and later in the year when Google was spotted converting barges into mobile showrooms we wondered if this might be the form Google Stores ultimately took; that idea ended up being a bust, as well. This week we’re revisiting the issue yet again, as new rumors discuss possible plans for a New York City retail location.
Reportedly, Google is just about to close negotiations on signing a lease at 131 Greene St in Manhattan – which just happens to be right down the street from the SoHo Apple Store. The space Google may be looking at would be large enough for an 8,000-square-foot store.
Maybe we’re just getting a little disillusioned about the idea of a Google Store by this point after being let down by rumors in the past, but we’re not sure this is quite the slam dunk it’s being reported as. For one thing, that location is surrounded by some pretty high-end boutiques – now, that on its own may not be anything to worry about, but after that barge-store idea was revealed to actually be a private showroom for VIPs, we have to consider the possibility that this could be a similarly purposed space.
Then again, we are getting closer and closer to Glass moving from “experiment” to “retail product,” so maybe the time is finally right for a brick-and-mortar Google Store.