Google may open retail stores
A new report says the search-engine giant is looking to give consumers hands-on experience with its products.
Are you ready to do some in-person shopping at a Google (GOOG) store?
A new report says Google is planning its own brick-and-mortar retail stores in several major U.S. cities to compete against Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT). Google reportedly wants its stores up and running in time for the 2013 holiday season. (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)
According to Seth Weintraub at 9to5Google.com, an “extremely reliable source” says the company wants to get its new Glass, Nexus and Chrome products -- as well as other upcoming devices -- directly to its consumers.
“Google feels right now that many potential customers need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase,” he wrote.
Google already has Chromebook displays in Best Buy (BBY) stores -- as well as with some retailers in the U.K. And the head of Google UK's consumer marketing told the London Evening Standard that offering consumers hands-on experience can make a huge difference in their understanding of the device.
Weintraub says the new Google stores will operate independently and will “make direct sales to customers from Google like the Nexus online store does currently.”
He also points out the company has advertised for people to help it develop, test and deploy retail point-of-sale systems.
Industry analysts appear to have mixed reactions to Google's possible venture into shopping-mall retail.
"Google does not have as many products as Apple, but it has enough to justify a physical retail presence," Greg Sterling, senior analyst with Opus Research, told PC World.
“Sure, Google could still make some money in the long run,” opines Chris Velazco at TechCrunch, “but it doesn’t seem like much of a sure thing unless Google manages to perform very, very well in terms of sales volume.”
Others, meanwhile, say Google should take a page from Apple's playbook and come up with their own retail persona.
“The purpose of a retail store isn't merely to sell,” says Chris Matyszczyk at CNet. “It's to create street theater. Apple has its own version. Google must find its own too.”
And Matyszczyk recommends Google appeal to all the “Big Bang Theory” computer nerds out there who are looking for a retail space to call their own.
“Imagine walking in and one of the Google nerds has dressed as The Flash, Batman or Wonder Woman for the day,” he says, “yet still finds a way to sell you a fascinating Nexus 7.”
More on moneyNOW
just for the record, i have bought a lot at penney's because i do not see martha stewart there.
AND PENNEY'S AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE. they need to get rid of that new ceo and get back on track to what it used to be. he is dragging the place to bankruptcy court so he can walk away with several million.
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