Google Canada’s “shop within a shop” spaces were officially opened Friday in the Toronto area, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. The one in the Toronto area is in Mississauga at Heartland Town Centre, which is up near the airport.
I mention this mainly because there is a big 3X3 video wall that’s the feature piece for the design, which has the feel of something between a trade show booth and one of those specialty leasing kiosks you see in the middle of mall walkways.
Ten smaller Google shops were introduced in Best Buy stores last month, but these much bigger fellas are intended to be somewhat immersive.
“We’re proud of the collaboration with Best Buy and their new Experience Stores, particularly as the concept aims to enhance the traditional way of shopping and aligns with Google’s immersive approach,” says Janell Fischer, Director of Retail Marketing at Google Inc. “Google shops bring a whole new way for shoppers to experience and interact with our products, complete with trained Google guides who will be onsite to offer one-on-one tech help.”
That video wall has been dubbed Portal, an “immersive super-sized display where they can ‘fly’ over anywhere on the planet through Google Earth, explore what people around the world are searching for and play other fun Google apps.”
News reports on the opening suggest this is a Canada thing and there are no plans (at least ones Google is talking about) to do this on the other side of the border in the U.S.