Google to open standalone retail stores this year

By , Feb 15, 2013

google retail store

Once a highly valued partner, Google has spent the last few years moving in on Apple’s territory. It’s done it in the computer space, with its Chromebook OS, and in the smartphone space with Android. And now it looks like it’s preparing to do the same thing in retail.

A new report is out this afternoon claiming that the Mountain View company is in the process of building standalone retail stores in the United States, in an effort to get its products into more hands. And its flagship locations could be ready by the holidays…

9to5Google reports:

“An extremely reliable source has confirmed to us that Google is in the process of building stand-alone retail stores in the U.S. and hopes to have the first flagship Google Stores open for the holidays in major metropolitan areas.

The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers. Google feels right now that many potential customers need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase. Google competitors Apple and Microsoft both have retail outlets where customers can try before they buy.”

The report goes on to point out that Google actually already has its hand in the retail business. It currently has hundreds of Chrome Stores-within-a-store setup in Best Buys with Google-trained employees—quite similar to what Apple does with its in-store shops.

But Best Buy, and Google’s other retail partners, still handle everything on the sales end of product transactions. And Google wants more. So it’s looking to open up its own standalone retail stores, giving it its own platform for launching and selling its products.

Apple has seen tremendous success with this method. With its products displayed prominently throughout its brightly-lit stores, customers come in by the thousands to touch, play with, and more importantly buy, its iPads, iPods and pretty much everything else it makes.

But replicating that success, as Microsoft will tell you, isn’t easy. The Redmond software giant opened its first two Microsoft Stores shortly after it launched its Windows 7 operating system back in 2009, and they have, thus far, failed to gain much traction with consumers.

It’ll be interesting to see what Google does in this space. There’s no doubt that running your own retail chain can come in handy when trying to roll out new products. Say perhaps its new Google Glasses, or the ‘X’ handset it’s rumored to be building in-house.

What are your thoughts on Google building standalone retail stores?

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  • smtp25

    Unique blue shirts how novel

  • Eddie Morales

    They should wear red shirts, so it’s like a good against “evil” or like two different elements!

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

    Oh Google

  • http://twitter.com/brandonweidema Brandon

    they better have free wifi

  • wonderboydave

    meh.

  • chjode

    And Christian’s pants just got tighter. Just imagine: an entire store with nothing but Android and Chrome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Makavelli.1 Joseph A. Ahmad

    Does a retail store really make sense for Google? I can understand the argument but think about… Google doesn’t really make great hardware in my opinion. At least not the same caliber that you would see from Apple. Heck, I’ll even put Samsung (as much as I hate it) and Nokia in that category (let’s not forget about those indestructible Nokia phones back in the day). I think Google is a great company and I use Google Search every single day, even many of the other software solutions it offers such as Google Analytics to track progress on my YouTube channel (oh yea, Google owns YouTube as well). I think you all see where I’m going with this. Google is a software company first and should stick to what it knows. Don’t sacrifice your company’s well-being on some crazy wet dream that you think will bring in the big money. Although, with risk comes great reward I suppose. You know what, I don’t care, do whatever you want Google, I’m invested in Apple’s ecosystem and I actually don’t care after typing all of this.

    • Falk M.

      Lol, I probably would have typed pretty much the exact same response like you. :,D

      Take my thumb up. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/Makavelli.1 Joseph A. Ahmad

        I like @Joonyaboy’s comment much better than mine. I should of just kept it simple but I felt the need to vent after reading this, haha … but thank-you! :D

  • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

    I am sure I will go there, and spend hours to play with millions of different Android phones one by one~

  • ap3604

    You would have to be an idiot to not be happy about this move by Google.

    Competition is good for the consumer.

    I personally hope both Google AND Microsoft start opening a huge amount of retail stores right next to Apple ones. That way more and more people will wander over to those other stores and get tempted to buy alternative options… rather than Apple having the only “hip” electronics store to visit.

    Then, hopefully, this puts a dent into Apple sales… leading them to quit overcharging crazy profit margins and get with the times (i.e. Retina Display for iPad mini).

    • Daniel

      There are a lot laptop shops where you can try every single laoptop with Windows on it. And guess what? Apple stores are full and laptop shops have one emplyee less every month.

      Now – Google.
      We all know their greedy after Android disease, but really, I mean really you talk about competition with Apple? Google and Microsoft retail stores against Apple?

      With all respect, but they, just, want to become Apple. And that’s not even quite inovative.

      • ap3604

        I guess the first line of my original post above applies to Daniel.

        Only an mindless drone would say “Stop copying Apple!” instead of welcoming the copycats.

        Copycats increase competition and make things better for the consumer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000632085147 Cesar Daniel Quiroz

    i want the glasses :F

  • http://twitter.com/El_Barto_01 El Barto

    I wonder how much of a rip off of an apple store feel will this be. Microsoft did it without shame. Samsung even used iOS icons as decorations on its stores. Hope google has some freh ideas. Sure apple didn’t invent the concept but at least don’t give beamed similar to the damn apple store.

    • pawfyd

      Don’t compare Samsung or Microsoft to Google. Google is a nice company. Their stores would look different and great I’m sure.

  • Joonyaboy

    Yes I’d like to buy one Google Search please

  • http://www.facebook.com/yuvraj.wadhwani Yuvraj Wadhwani

    The brightly lit stores, the products on display, the blue tshirt experts to help you with the product..

    Very original Google, very original.

    • Tim Flatley

      So…Apple invented good lighting, displaying their products for people to see and…blue t shirts?
      I don’t think this is a good play on Google’s part but dude…think about what you’re saying. Engage brain.

      • http://www.facebook.com/yuvraj.wadhwani Yuvraj Wadhwani

        I was exaggerating, but you wouldn’t be right in saying that Google store is not at all inspired by the Apple store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000254498753 Mark Seah

    copying Apple’s strategy. next would be Google phones and other devices only….hardware manufacturers will have to find new strategies to survive