Google says no plans to open retail rival to Apple Store

9 Feb 2012

Clarification: Google has said no decision has been made on plans to open its first stand-alone retail store at its European headquarters in Dublin. The option of a retail presence has been included in a planning application, but rather than it being a rival to the Apple Store, it says a souvenir shop like the one it has in Mountain View, California, would be more likely.

We originally reported Google had denied plans to open a retail rival to Apple. Google pointed out to us that it has no such plans and confirmed that while an option for retail space had been included in a planning application for its Montevetro building, no decision has been made.

Bloomberg reported earlier today on a planning application that included plans to open a stand-alone retail operation at its new European headquarters at Dublin’s Montevetro building.

Sources confirmed that as part of the planning application there’s an option for a small space in the building to be used to sell T-shirts and other Google merchandise.

There had been speculation that Google was planning a retail experience to rival that of the Apple Store empire. Indeed, Google recently opened a store inside the London branches of Currys and PC World.

A spokesperson for the internet giant said, however, that the retail operation may not happen and no decision has been made. The spokesperson also said that to compare the retail option to an Apple Store would be off the mark.

In Google’s headquarters in California, there is a store selling merchandise for Google employees only. There’s also an online store selling various merchandise.

In a statement, Google said: “We already have an online store selling things like Google T-shirts and pens.

“We have the option of a small space doing the same in our Dublin office but we’ve not made any decisions, it’s simply a planning application,” Google said.

Last year, Google confirmed it bought the 15-storey Montevetro building – the tallest building in Dublin city – or €99.5m.

It also acquired the buildings that house its EMEA headquarters across the street on Barrow Street in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2.

Google atrium in Dublin

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years