Is Google building retail stores?

by: Nate SwannerFebruary 15, 2013

google logo [aa]

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 the head-wear 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 or Windows 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?

Google has 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 the Play 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!



    • Brad Ward

      I agree!

  • paxmos

    I freaking hope not. First they have to learn how to run a business

    • Michael Lee

      They’re learning. I’m sure none of this craziness like the Nexus 4 will ever happen again. I’m pretty sure (though not certain) they’ve learned from all this. Google has come a long way.

      I’m all for a Google Store.

      • Bhairav Pardiwala

        infact the nexus 4 craziness is just the start !

      • paxmos

        And it still has a long way to go. I returned my Nexus 4 and have yet to get my refund. The last I heard was that I had to wait 14 business days for my refund. I suggest Google to wait 14 business days to charge my account when I purchase something from them, but would they??…I think not.

  • kekezor

    I don’t know what Google is doing, what about the rest of us that can’t buy devices, the world, US and a couple of other countries which have acces and can buy from google play store devices don’t represent the whole world. And now they are thinking of opening retail? I bet there are many many people that would love to be able to buy a nexus at its intended price and not double from third parties. If they don’t annouce an expansion of this service in May, I’m seriously going to be disapointed, I can live without some content (music, books, magazines) but the devices service is just…
    I’m from Europe btw

  • Joe@P4U

    With all the changes in the UK to the way we do our shopping, so much of it has moved online and many high street stores are struggling because they failed to adjust properly or manage the change. I can’t see why a company the size of Google, that obviously started online, would then want to go in reverse and enter an environment which is quickly becoming outdated.