Google Inc. may open its first stand-alone retail store at its European headquarters in Dublin, according to a filing by the world’s most popular search engine.
The Google Store would be open to the public and sell unspecified “Google merchandise,” Google’s Irish unit said in a local planning application. Located in Dublin’s Montevetro office block, the shop would include about 123 square meters (1,323 square feet) of space with an added mezzanine floor extension.
“While we do have the option to open retail space, we are examining all potential uses,” the Mountain View, California-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. “No final decision has been taken.”
Retail may be a new front in Google’s competition with Apple Inc., whose 361 stores have fueled sales of iPods, iPhones and iPad tablet computers. Google, the world’s biggest maker of smartphone operating software, is in the process of buying handset maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for $12.5 billion to help it compete with Apple’s phones and Microsoft Corp.’s mobile software.
Google opened a store inside of a London branch of Currys and PC World, units of Dixons Retail Plc, as a trial for selling laptop computers, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported in October.
Google has a store for its merchandise at its headquarters in California, which isn’t open to the public. The company also offers its merchandise at www.googlestore.com, featuring everything from baby bibs to notebooks with the Google logo.
The planning application, prepared by consultants John Spain Associates for Google Ireland Inc., was approved by the Dublin City Council on Jan. 23. The document also describes a staff swimming pool in an area designed for use as a restaurant.
Google’s Dublin office is its largest location outside of the U.S., according to the filing. It purchased the Montevetro site in April for about 100 million euros from Real Estate Opportunities Plc. Google will have more than 3,000 employees in the Dublin area after it expands into the building and refurbishes its existing headquarters across the street, according to the document.