Best Buy and Google team up on experiential play

The retailer's newly renovated locations will host spots dedicated to the tech giant's new hardware.

Best Buy Canada has announced a new partnership with Google Canada, which will bring 14 “Google shops” into its stores.

The collaboration is the first of its kind in North America and will involve Best Buy hosting 14 of the shops in its newly renovated “experience stores.” Ten, smaller versions of those shops will begin operating today across Canada. Four more are set to debut in VancouverEdmontonCalgary and Mississauga before the end of the year. Those shops will be larger (around 700 square feet) and more interactive, featuring things like surround screens.

The shops will include Google’s hardware – such as the new Pixel smartphone, Daydream View VR headset and Chromecast Ultra (the latter two available later this year)  – and will “provide immersive experiences that help users get the most out of their devices,” Best Buy said in a press release.

For all 14 shops, customers can book one-on-one appointments with Google staff to learn more about specific products. Given that Google doesn’t release new hardware products as often as other tech brands, the shops are largely experiential, with workshops focused on how to get the most out of its various products and apps Examples include a hands-on experience of Google Play Games, a workshop to plan the ideal holiday trip using Google hardware and apps, and “family time with Google,” a workshop for kids and friendly focused on child-friendly products.

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