February 18, 2013
According to 9to5Google, an “extremely reliable source” has confirmed that Google plans to build standalone retail stores in the U.S., with major metropolitan area flagship outlets opening in time for the holidays by the end of this year. The goal is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome and other upcoming products into the hands of customers, similar to the approach taken by competitors Apple and Microsoft.
Google currently has Chrome Store-within-a-store models in hundreds of Best Buys in the U.S. and 50 PCWorld/Dixon’s in the UK,” reports 9to5Google. “These stores have Google trained employees who demonstrate the value of Chromebooks and can answer the multitude of questions people have before making a purchase.”
The idea for retail outlets is believed to have arisen from a concern that consumers would be hesitant to spend the expected $500-1,000 for Google Glass without trying the device first.
“Along with Glass, Google will have an opportunity to demonstrate other upcoming and Google X projects like driverless cars and mini-drone delivery systems at its stores,” suggests the article.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told investors that Apple’s retail stores serve as the face of the company. “I don’t think we would have been nearly as successful with iPad if it weren’t for our stores,” he said. “It gives Apple an incredible competitive advantage. Others have found out it’s not so easy to replicate. We’re going to continue to invest like crazy. The average store last year was over 50 million in revenue.”