A new report claims Google is opening their first retail establishment. The store is reportedly being opened in Manhattan, very close to Apple’s existing store. A nearby space offers nearly the same square footage, and several mysterious sources claim Google is interested.

Citing several “retail experts”, Crain’s is reporting that Google is opening up shop in the hippest section of SoHo. Sources tell them Google is close to signing a lease on the property at 131 Greene Street (pictured above, via Google Maps), which would be their first actual storefront in the country. Google engaged in pop-up shops over the holiday shopping season to let everyone go hands-on with their wares. It seems they may have a taste for retail, now.

The cobblestone street houses some top-end clientele, with the likes of Tiffany and Stella McCartney having storefronts there as well. Google may bring a different customer base altogether, but an actual Google store would bring customers. As for what the shop could look like — it’s anyone’s guess.

Between end-caps at Best Buy and popups around the country, Google’s retail legs are definitely finding their balance. A flagship store in a trendy neighborhood is a good start, but we hope it leads to more shops — should it happen. There has been nothing official from Google, and until we hear that, we’ll hold back on the enthusiasm. It would be a nice place to roll a Nexus smartwatch out to the public, though.

Via: TechnoBuffalo