Google is set to sign the lease on its first brick-and-mortar store in NYC, Crain’s New York reports citing anonymous “retail experts.” The Internet giant is reportedly closing in on a deal that would transform the storefront at 131 Greene St. (pictured above) – just a block away from the Apple Store in downtown Manhattan – into its first physical retail outlet.
Multiple real estate listings confirm that the storefront offers 4,100 square feet of retail space. That’s not much compared to Apple’s nearby SOHO store—which added 5,000 extra square feet of space in a recent expansion—but it’s still a good amount of space for what could be Google’s first attempt at selling its devices directly to customers offline. Until now, Google has relied on smaller stations inside retailers such as Best Buy to promote Nexus-branded hardware and Chromebooks.
We don’t yet know what a Google Store will look like, though Apple has kicked-off a copycat trend in the retail space. It may look similar to what you find in an Apple or Microsoft Store, though, of course, with a focus on Nexus devices, Chromebooks, Google services and more. The store opening could also coincide with a mass market release for Google Glass, and might even be used to showcase the company’s rumored smartwatch expected to launch sometime this year.
Last year, Google opened several temporary display pop-ups across the country where customers could get hands-on experience with some devices but couldn’t actually buy its products. The company’s mysterious barges have also been pegged as potential floating Google stores, though the company has shot down those rumors and the barges have since been relocated.