There might be a time in the not-so-distant future when you’re able to walk into a Google-branded retail store to buy phones, tablets, and more. It’s the second year in which Google is pushing Pixel-branded devices on a large scale, and now the company appears to be interested in entering retail. Google would like to bring its hardware to in-house retail stores in India near the end of 2018. If everything goes successfully, the strategy could be expanded to additional regions.
A report published by the Economic Times reveals that, in order to increase Pixel sales, Google will be opening retail stores throughout 2018 after seeing pop-up shops experience success in recent weeks.
Three individuals spoke on the plans under anonymity. The first explained that there are definitely plans to open retail stores in India, and the second said it’s still being considered. The third then said a former Apple executive was brought over to oversee the move into retail. Improving the likelihood of Google going through with this is the dozen or so pop-up shops opening in malls throughout India. At least two malls say they’ve received requests from Google to operate.
While Apple calls its retail stores “town squares,” Google intends to call them “experience centers.” The purpose, of course, would be the same. Both companies want consumers to walk in, see what the products are capable of, and walk out with new stuff.
In addition to making sales, the retail stores would educate consumers. Google wants to bring awareness to every Pixel feature whether that’s on the Pixel 2, Pixelbook, and Pixel Buds. The Google Home family of smart speakers are also going to be featured. The Chromecast family, too, will be available. Just about anything and everything you see online on the Google Store would be translated over to the retail stores.
Among the demonstrations likely to be given in these retail stores is photography in a dark room to simulate the Pixel 2’s strength in low light environments.
What’s unknown about Google’s interest in retail is whether the company will own and operate its own stores or license out its name to a partner. Other companies like Apple and Samsung often let franchisees to handle retail stores.