Google retail stores may open this year in U.S.

By on February 18, 2013, 8:30 AM

Citing an "extremely reliable source", 9to5Google reports that the iconic search company intends to launch its own network of brick-and-mortar retail stores across the United States. According to the report, the company hopes to introduce a select number of these Google Stores before the 2013 holiday season.

Retail locations seem like an ideal way for Google to float chancy conceptual projects like Google Glass to the public. It's Chromebook, for example, is a product that not every consumer is likely to "get" until they sit down in front of one. The possibility of demonstrations and hands-on experiences could help make Google's most imaginative products seem less abstract to consumers, encouraging them to take the plunge with their wallets. 

The search giant has already been dipping its toes into retail waters through its "store within a store" partnership at select Best Buys. Additionally, the report suggests that Google's interest in retail may be further substantiated by its recent efforts to hire talent familiar with point-of-sale systems; however, 9to5Google has also been told the company is searching for "outside" help to run its retail operation.

The concept of a brand-centric store is hardly novel. Apple's chain of trendy boutiques is perhaps the gold standard for these types of vertically integrated stores, while Microsoft's own take on real-world establishments may also be exhibiting signs of success. Not every brand seems cut out for retail though; consider failures by Gateway and Dell, for instance.




User Comments: 4

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Apple's stores are successful because they have something to sell. Dell and Gateway's stores were a joke because they didn't have any inventory. When people go to the store to buy something they expect to leave with more than an order confirmation. People just went to best buy or Comp USA (back then) and they could actually buy a computer the same day.

What's Google going to sell us? Ads? If anything they should sell android phones. Best Buy and Radio Shack have had a lot of success being able to offer phones from each carrier. I don't see a Chromebook store being able to sustain itself.

SCJake said:

The things they'll really be pushing are their nexus devices. That and chromebooks/google glass. The only way I see this really working would be if they could get vz/sprint/tmobile/att/whoeverelse to partner up with them and allow them to activate phones/chrome/glass data plans in-store.

Google's main pitfall is that it's stuck working with those morons to keep their devices active. T-Mobile and Sprint are the only ones I really feel as honest, and HSPA+ networks around here are just so hit and miss while Sprint's phone lineup is pretty lame (no "Droid" branded devices)

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Opening brick & mortar stores seems really fashionable nowadays. It remains to be seen if it will be successful though more than likely it will.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

The same reason Microsoft did it, mindshare amongst consumers.

A lot of people don't even know their phone is running Android not Droid, Verizon, HTC, Samsung, and even more don't know Google makes Android. In order to gain customer loyalty they need to establish mindshare amongst their existing consumer-base and to draw in new non price-sensitive customers.

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