is opening up six new showrooms for its Google-branded wares in six locations around the country in an effort to keep pace with the retail presence that Apple and Microsoft have been pushing.
The sites will apparently operate as giant kiosks in malls, and you can find them in the New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles areas as well as in Sacramento, California, and Paramus, New Jersey.
The company is calling them “Winter WonderLabs”, and they offer fun, somewhat whimsical ways for consumers to interact with Google products in person, such as the Nexus 7
, and the Chromecast
streaming device. You’ll be able to order devices online from the kiosks.
This is a smart move by Google, as--like Apple and Microsoft--the search giant has surmised that an online presence alone doesn’t pull in all of its potential customers. Making people more aware of its lineup of products and what they can do is just another vector for sales, and it sounds like the Winter WonderLabs will be more about educating people about what Google offers as opposed to hard sales.
The Winter WonderLabs site is here
, although it’s been down for a while so you may not be able to hit it just yet.