Is Google building retail stores?

February 15, 2013
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We tend to hear this off-and-on, but it’s mostly speculative that Google should build retail stores. We all love having a place to go and geek-out about Android and all things Google, but Android Authority has been your go-to source for that! Well, dreams do come true, and if the rumors are true… you’ll be able to go to an actual Google store by year’s end.

An “extremely reliable” source notes that Google is in the process of developing stand-alone storefronts. This news comes from 9-to-5 Google, which points out that this idea was actually born from Google Glass. Google apparently feels (rightly so) that people will want to try on theĀ head-wearĀ before dropping upwards of $1,500.

The stores will act as physical Google Play Stores, selling devices straight from Google to you. Much like an Apple store orĀ WindowsĀ store, they will also offer support and guidance for products. If you go to Best Buy stores, you’ll know that Google already has a very minor in-store presence. Those stores are manned by Google trained employees, but employed by a third-party employment agency. A dedicated Google store would mean answers and expertise direct from the source.

While we love Google, it’s worth mentioning that some very good programs are slow to catch on. Chromebooks are a great solution for many, but not widely adopted. An in-store trial run with people who are ready and able to help could be a big plus for consumers, as well as Google.

Can Google do it?

GoogleĀ hasĀ some very glaring issues to overcome before even thinking about opening a brick-and-mortar establishment. Its customer service is nearly non-existent. Need proof? Call theĀ PlayĀ Store and ask about an app you’re having a problem with. You’ll be directed to the online support pages, which are often useless for real-world issues. Google will have to accept some ownership of its products and be willing to help those that need it. This, above all, is where Apple succeeds over Google.

Second, but not any less important, Google must solve its supply chain issues. Nobody wants to fall in love with a device, only to be told “we’re out, and we don’t know when it’s coming back”. That is essentially the answer you get from the Play Store now and it’s just not acceptable. The Nexus 4 shenanigans hopefully opened Google’s eyes to that.

Would you like to see a Google Store in your area? What do you think it will be called? I’m guessing…. the Google Play Store!

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