From the virtual to the physical world, with an inverse step compared to the trend of recent years. In fact, if most of the stores move online, if the software prevails over the hardware, the big names want to reconnect with people. Now Google also follows the example of the pioneer Apple and Amazon and opens its first store in New York. The store will be inaugurated in a few weeks in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, where the Mountain View giant has already set up campus and offices in the famous Chelsea Market building. The campus, active since 2010, houses about 11,000 employees, and a few steps further on, at 111 Eighth Street, is the Google headquarters in Manhattan. “Google has been present in New York for twenty years,” said Jason Rosenthal, Vice President of Direct Channels and Memberships, “and we see this store as a natural extension of our long-term relationship with the city.” The operation is unique: in the past Google had opened pop-up stores both in Chicago and in Manhattan itself, linked to particular events or the launch of new devices, but the Chelsea location will be the first permanent store. The purpose, in open response to Apple megastores but two decades later, is to provide sales and service for Google-branded products, Pixel smartphones, Pixelbooks laptops, Fitbit smart bracelets and home automation devices such as Nest thermostats. You will also be able to buy hardware products, collect your orders online, try new devices, just like in apple stores: a formula proposed by Google also together with the announcement of workshops dedicated to customers, product previews, demonstration activities and customized configurations. . Apple has also been present in New York for twenty years (since 2002 to be exact) but with very different backgrounds. After the first store in Soho, hundreds of them all over the world followed, essential flagships both for the image and for the sale and assistance related to all the products of the Cupertino house. One of them is just across the street, opposite the newborn Google store. And even the giant of online sales Amazon has recently capitulated, with the opening in the last period of supermarkets without cashiers (where the shopping is done by scanning products with the smartphone) and, despite the pandemic, has no intention of giving up project. On the contrary, it is rapidly spreading to other sectors as well, as the London experiment demonstrates. In the East End, Bezos’ creature has in fact opened an Amazon Salon, a beauty-themed technological laboratory. There, visitors can have fun with augmented reality and find out how they will look with the new look before they undergo any haircut, color or hair treatment, all before getting their hands on the scissors. The products displayed on the shelves, then, will have a “point and learn” system which, thanks to QR codes, will allow access to a card with information, videos, methods of use and purchase options for each product. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, but a clear signal that Amazon intends to keep its feet firmly in the real world. Who goes in the opposite direction instead is Microsoft, which last year announced its intention to abandon activities related to the real economy, more than a decade after the opening of its first physical store, motivating everything with the company’s decision to bet everything on exclusively online business relationships.