Google makes more hardware than it did in the past, so it has naturally considered opening retail stores from time to time. The company has purchased shipping containers and renovated lofts, only to cancel its plans. The only initiatives that have come to fruition are a few pop-up stores. Last year, we heard Google was on the verge of opening its first permanent flagship retail store in Chicago. Now, it looks like the deal has fallen through.
Last we heard, Google was in the late-stage negotiations to open a two-story, 14,000 square-foot retail space in Chicago's up-and-coming Fulton Market district. It would have been just a few blocks from Google's Chicago offices. The Chicago Tribune now reports that the deal is off. It does not know the reason for Google's decision to walk away. It's unclear if Google has cooled on opening a retail store completely or if it's looking at other locations. The company has refused to comment on the reports.
It makes sense that Google would want to have a retail operation. It produces popular devices like the Nest cameras and Google Home speakers. The Pixels are less popular but are some of the best Android devices available. Third-party retailers don't show off Google's devices as well as Google could in its own space, but retail is often a money pit. You may have to make do with the pop-up stores and Google's limited presence inside established chains like Best Buy.
- Chicago Tribune