Square, the mobile payment processing company and maker of the popular Square Card Reader, is opening its first brick-and-mortar location, a real-life showroom in the heart of New York’s lower Manhattan that’s part tech support center, part store and part showcase for curated products from Square customers.
Starting this week, Square Showroom will function similarly to how Apple runs its Genius Bar, at least on weekdays, with customers booking appointments in advance. On weekends, it will be more like a pop-up store, with a selection of jewelry, bags, art, candles and other products from some of the companies that use Square.
While Square started as a business focused primarily on startups that weren’t able to shoulder hefty credit card transaction fees, the company has become increasingly focused on addressing the needs of more complex customers dealing with payroll, invoices and other payments. Even as it continues to cater to its original customer base, the bigger growth area now is businesses that are larger and more complex, according to Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s hardware product lead.
“When Square started eight or so years ago, we had one product and one website, and that one website showed you that one product and showed you what to do,” Dorogusker said.
While the New York location was chosen in part because of heavy foot traffic and close proximity to existing customers, Dorogusker said the company is considering opening additional locations in other cities. He said customers who have questions or concerns often want to meet face to face rather than waiting on the phone or communicating via email.
Square isn’t the first online company to open its first retail location in New York this summer. Earlier this month, Line, the Japanese messaging app, opened a store in Times Square called Line Friends, which sells the tech brand’s adorable mascots while also acting as a destination for tourists in the area. Warby Parker, the fashionable and affordable eyeglasses company, has also continued building out its lineup of retail locations around the U.S. after years of selling only on the internet.