Chrome Zone — Google’s first retail shop opens in London

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Chrome Zone — Google’s first retail ‘store within a store’ opened on London’s gadget street, inside the Currys and PC World superstore, Tottenham Court Road.

According to Google’s head of consumer marketing for the UK and Ireland, Arvind Desikan, the Search Engine giant put a great deal of thought into the design of this Chrome Zone,” (the store basically follows Google’s color scheme). And inside the store, consumers are encouraged to spend time with the new Chromebook and chat with Chrome specialists (not to be confused with Apple’s Geniuses). Google said in a statement: “The Chrome Zone is designed to be as open, colourful and user-friendly as possible, and there are seating areas for shoppers to enable them to try out Chromebooks in comfort.”

If you’ve been on a Virgin America flight in the last few months, this might not be the first time you’re seeing or hearing about the new Chromebook computers. “Chrome Zone” lounges were set up in airport gates in San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare, Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth, for passengers to “test-fly” the Chromebook computers for free.

Arvind Desikan, head of consumer marketing at Google UK, told the Evening Standard:

“It is our first foray into physical retail. This is a new channel for us and it’s still very, very early days. It’s something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.”

“We found anecdotally that when people tried the device and played with it, that made a huge difference to their understanding of what the Chromebook is all about.

“We want to see whether people understand what this device is all about and monitor their reaction when they try it out.”

Google’s second Chrome Zone is expected to open at Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, on October 7th, with both trial stores staying open until Christmas.  Additional pilot shops are planned around the world in the coming months.

The Samsung-made Chromebook costs £349 for the wi-fi only version and £399 for wi-fi and 3G (which is only been available in the UK online from Amazon and PC World).