In an effort to alleviate the strain on its servers and expand its footprint, tech giant Google announced the grand opening of its first physical storefront in the Stanford Shopping Center last Tuesday.
“We think we can provide physical analogues of our most searched-for services, giving people the freedom to ‘Google’ things in the real world,” explained branch manager Kirk Johnson while zipping up his multi-colored Google store employee jumpsuit.
The majority of the opening day products are based on data Google has gathered, wittingly and otherwise, from Internet browsers over the last few years. “We hope to offer phone books, directories of local business hours, city maps, dictionaries, and English-to-Spanish translators,” raved Johnson, “And for Sue Carbello of Weir’s Cave, VA, we have that thing you’ve been thinking of buying. Come pick it up whenever, Sue.” A smiling Google representative added, “Soon we will expand and begin offering manuals on topics like ‘how to tie a tie,’ ‘how to tell if you’re pregnant’ and ‘is it herpes?’”
The Google Store also plans to offer a “SafeSearch” option. Shoppers who wish to turn SafeSearch on will be given blinders and gloves, while the SafeSearch Off section will service the needs of the 18+ crowd with pornographic magazines and DVDs. In order to achieve the privacy measures available online, the store will allow customers to enter the store individually by appointment. With the assistance of a store employee keeping track of each search, a customer can peruse the archives of Google to their hearts’ desire without the judgmental gaze of onlookers.
Customer Gary Howe expressed his appreciation for the personal attention he received in a recent trip to the Google Store. “I felt like the salesman really knew me. He knew exactly what I was looking for the get-go. As of press time, Bing had retaliated by operating a shop out of a small mobile home where, says Bing spokesperson Matt Williams, “You might not always find what you thought you wanted, but you’ll always leave a little richer than when you walked in.”