What was previously regarded as mere speculation is actually turning out to be true: Google has been planning to launch its own physical stores across the U.S., according to a Wall Street Journal report.
9-to-5 Google was actually the first to report Google’s foray into the physical retail market, citing an “extremely reliable source” who confirmed that key metropolitan areas may experience the first Google stores and their denizens personally browse Nexus devices during the holidays. WSJ is supporting this story, although its sources, or the “people familiar with the matter,” are unsure which lucky state is actually getting the search giant’s flagship store and if one will even be open this year.
The decision to enter the retail business seems to be the next rational step for Google, in light of the company’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility and hardened focus on mobile hardware. It’s also hard to miss Apple’s notable progress in its own physical stores and not emulate its success. With a physical store chain, people could directly check what latest smartphones and tablets the Android brand has to offer and receive indispensable hands-on training from the staff.
Chromebooks, in the meantime, could be displayed more prominently and educate consumers on its capabilities and advantages over traditional Windows laptops. Let’s also not forget the Nexus One and how Google’s first attempt at selling devices directly to consumers via the web store did not really take off.
But it’s not actually the Nexus devices, which are receiving all the raves from the media and users alike, and all the Android stuff that are making Google to open brick-and-mortar stores. The idea actually originates from Google Glass and how to effectively make it known to the public. By wearing them in person, consumers can directly experience the sophisticated eyeglass gadget and realize that perhaps the retail price – expected to be at least $500 but can go as high as $1,500 – is actually a reasonable cost for a futuristic device. Otherwise, Glass may just turn out to be a flop. And it’s not just the eyewear that is biding its time and taking its final form in Google’s secret lab, Google X. Other projects, such as self-driving cars, neural networks, and space elevators, may benefit from Google’s own physical stores and become commercial successes for the company.
That Google is finally recognizing the need to open its own version of Apple Store is a good thing. The company is not exactly short of topnotch products to brandish in its stores, so curious customers will surely arrive in droves.