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Google Will Reportedly Open Its Own Retail Stores Starting This Year

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google will reportedly open its own retail stores starting this year | The Verge (click for full article)

    "It's no secret that Apple's retail stores have proven extraordinarily beneficial for the company, and it looks like Google may be getting into the game now as well. 9to5Google is reporting that the company will be building a line of stand-alone retail stores, with the first locations scheduled to open by the end of the year. Google is said to feel that it has an assortment of products - from its Nexus line to Chromebooks - that customers aren't actually able to try out before deciding what they want to buy. Google has branded pop-up kiosks with several US and UK retailers, but these new stores are said to be full Google-run operations from top to bottom.


    The decision to expand into retail was reportedly made when deciding how to best bring Google Glass to customers. That device won't be cheap - the Explorer Edition prototype was priced at $1,500 when pre-orders opened last year - and with such a new technology requiring that kind of hefty investment, the company realized it needed to be able to introduce the product to customers directly. It had previously been reported that Google was going to open a retail location in its European headquarters in Dublin, though the company said as recently as December that it had no plans on becoming a retailer.


    The move would certainly make sense, as Google has made significant strides in building its own brand with the Nexus products, to say nothing of selling hardware through the Play Store. Whether the stores will end up being as successful as those run by Google's rival in Cupertino - or provide what Tim Cook described as a Prozac-like experience - remains to be seen. We've reached out to Google for comment."
     
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Those Rumored Google Stores Are Starting To Make A Lot Of Sense | TechCrunch (click for full article)

    "When talking about Apple's rise from near-bankruptcy to become the most valuable company in the world, people often credit the amazing string of products from the iMac to the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad. And rightfully so. But just as important was another piece of the puzzle that ensured said products would find mainstream appeal and acted as an accelerant for Apple's success: the Apple Stores.


    When Apple first got into the retail game a little over a decade ago, many people scoffed. In hindsight, Apple seems to do quite well when people scoff (see: here and here) - it sort of makes sense, if an idea was obvious, others would have done it. But others in Apple's position had tried to do retail and failed (see: Gateway - complete with cows out front - Sony, etc).


    Yet Apple became the most effective and prized retailer in the world.


    Naturally, this led others to take a page from Apple's playbook. Notably, Microsoft. And while the experiment is ongoing, so far, those stores do not appear to be taking off in the same way. So when you hear the news that Google is considering opening their own retail stores as well, you might, well, scoff. But I think that would be a mistake. I think Google could be poised to nail retail as well."
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Andy Rubin: Google Has 'No Plans' To Launch Retail Stores | TechCrunch (click for full article)

    "In a roundtable discussion with reporters today, Google's head of Android Andy Rubin came right out and flatly denied the search giant was considering the launch of retail locations. "Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce," Rubin was reported as saying by AllThingsD's Ina Fried. Curiously, Rubin's explanation for why Google doesn't need stores was basically the exact opposite of argument from third-party observers about why it does.


    Rubin said that consumers "don't have to go in the store and feel [products] anymore," according to ATD. That's a pretty marked contrast to what a lot of people have been saying about why Google might want to get into the brick-and-mortar biz. Just last week, MG suggested that "average consumers are never going to buy [Google's] projects online without having tried them first," in fact. Apple has had success providing experience-based shopping environments, after all, which helped greatly in evangelizing and popularizing the concept of the iPad.


    But Rubin believes that consumers these days are better served by online tools, including review sites and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and social connections, to the point where a hands-on experience isn't necessary. He added that he believes Google's Nexus program is still relatively young, and not "far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store."


    Looking at Google's hardware efforts in the wake of the Chromebook Pixel announcement last week, it does seem that the company is still in a largely experimental mode when it comes to fielding its own devices. A significant retail investment might not make sense until Google decides more firmly what works and what doesn't with its hardware lineups in terms of meeting current customer needs."
     

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