9to5Google on Friday quoted “an extremely reliable source” in reporting that Google is taking steps to build it’s own stand-alone retail stores in the U.S. The company hopes to have their first flagship “Google Stores” open by the holidays in major cities.
The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers. Google feels right now that many potential customers need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase. Google competitors Apple and Microsoft both have retail outlets where customers can try before they buy. Google’s retail move won’t be an entirely new area, however.
Google does currently have hundreds of Chrome store-within-a-store kiosks in Best Buys in the U.S, also in 50 PCWorld/Dixon’s stores in the U.K. These have Google trained employees whose sole purpose is to demonstrate the value of Chromebooks and to answer questions shoppers may have before making a purchase.
9to5Google’s sources say the new stores will operate independently and make direct sales to customers from Google.The site also speculates that Google may also sell Google branded apparel and merchandise in the stores.
The decision to open the stores is reported to have come about when making plans on how to take the Google Glass product to the masses. Company leaders believed that the public would need to be able to try Google Glass before deciding to spring anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for the product. From that seed grew the Google Stores idea.
This is one to watch. Will Google be able to succeed with its own retail stores, a market where so far only Apple has had any major success?
I for one hope they go for it. If for no reason other than to see if the sign above the entrance to the store changes with the holidays and historically significant days in history as their logo on the Google search page does.