Google's Winter Wonderlabs Site Goes Down As Pop-Up Stores Debut (GOOG)
Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Winter Wonderlabs website has gone down only days after the company revealed its first pop-up store.
The site, located at winterwonderlab.withgoogle.com, currently greets visitors with an error message:
This outage comes at a crucial time for Google. The company developed the site to promote Winter Wonderlabs, which are special pop-up stores that will debut in six cities across America.
The Wonderlabs are designed to provide users with the opportunity to test and order new Android products, such as the Nexus 7. The Moto X is likely to make an appearance as well, along with Chromebooks and other familiar gadgets.
The Verge has an interesting photo showing what the stores will look like.
Related: Is Google Chromecast Going Global?
In addition to new electronic devices, Google has packaged a special holiday surprise inside each store: a snow globe with fake snow.
Visitors can drop in, get a photo and pretend that they are trapped in a winter wonderland. They aren't, however -- they are simply inside of a Google Winter Wonderlab.
According to Bloomberg, Google describes its pop-up stores as a "fun and interactive way to experience all of Google's new gadgets in one place."
This is not the first time that Google has made an effort to carve its own space in retail. The company has toyed with the idea before, most notably from its mysterious barge project.
By building pop-up stores, Google has acknowledged the importance of personal retail. The company has sold millions of products through its cellular and retail partners. Now Google wants to see if it can expand its market share -- and reach additional consumers -- by following in the footsteps of its chief competitors: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).
Look for Google's Winter Wonderlabs to pop up in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sacramento and Washington, DC. A sixth store will open in Paramus, New Jersey.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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