Google makes first moves into retail in London

Google has taken its first steps into retail opening a "shop in a shop" with Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London

There was a time when "The Street" meant Tottenham Court Road and it was a home for retailers of technology of all shapes and sizes but in recent years the fortunes of the area have changed slightly.

A handful of technology specialists, including Currys PC World, can still be found on Tottenham Court Road but the vast majority of stores are now chains selling food, furniture and bits and bobs for the home.

However the days when The Street could attract tech names is clearly not over with Google announcing plans to open a store within Currys PC World using it as a way to pitch Android devices, including phones, tablets and wearables and its Chromecast product.

It is the first time the search engine giant has felt the need to establish a retail presence and should not only provide a shot in the arm for Tottenham Court Road tech nostalgics but perhaps provides an indication of just how much of a sales job the firm feels it needs to do around Android.

Google's UK marketing director James Elias, heralded its decision to set-up a "shop in a Shop" in London: "We’re incredibly excited to launch this space - the first of its kind anywhere in the world - in London with Currys PC World."

“The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years. With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life," he added.

The decision by Google to choose PC World as the partner on its first shop is a feather in the cap for the long standing retailer and Ainsley Sykes, senior product manager for Currys PC World, said that it would provide customers with an interactive experience in the store.

"Google experts will be on hand to maximise the experience for users and provide help and support around the Google eco-system. This fantastic space compliments the interactive and informative environment we aim to create for customers visiting all of our stores," he added.

The Google move on Tottenham Court Road is not expected to be its only store, with expectations of a couple more being set up this year, and it could give rivals like Amazon a prod to take the step into doing something similar.

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