Update at foot of post.
Google is considering opening a retail store in Dublin, a planning application noted by Bloomberg reveals.
The store, located on its campus in the Irish capital, would be open to the public and sell unspecified “Google merchandise,” the application says.
This would be Google’s first public retail store. Last year it opened a presence in a London branch of Currys and PC World, with a branded section of the store dedicated to Chromebooks. Google sells a wider array of merchandise online via the Google Store, and a Google Doodle store powered by Zazzle.
It’s unknown exactly what the Dublin store will sell, and indeed it may not even open at all – a Google spokesperson told Bloomberg “While we do have the option to open retail space, we are examining all potential uses… No final decision has been taken.”
Bricks-and-mortar stores are a growing trend among tech companies, it seems. EBay opened a pop-up shop in London before Christmas, and it’s rumoured that Amazon may be experimenting with a physical retail presence in Seattle. Meanwhile, Microsoft has a growing chain of stores in the US.
UPDATE: We’ve received the following statement from Google, indicating that the possible shop, if it goes ahead, will sell branded merchandise:
“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.”