Google reportedly planning retail stores in India as part of Pixel push

Laverne Mann
December 27, 2017

Last year, the Christmas weekend saw app sales shoot through the roof at a 52% increase over the previous one, and 2017 year will likely see a similar breakthrough, as Google runs its 12 Days of Play promo on the best apps and games of 2017, while Apple has $0.99 movie rentals and other App Store discounts queued up without much ado.

According to a report, certain people related to the matter have said that Google has plans to open physical stores in India which will have an "experience centre" format. The search giant hired a key Apple executive to help with the expansion, and plans to open "experience stores" where users can try out the new features. "The company is considering it and could start opening the stores in 2018" said one of them. Recently, these pop-up stores have been set up at various malls like the High Street Phoenix in Mumbai, and Select Citywalk, Promenade, Mall of India in Delhi-NCR.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

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Sources speaking to Economic Times said the retail stores could carry other Google products as well, including Google Home, Chromecast, Pixel laptops, and Daydream View. In the past, Google has relied on the Play Store online and third-party retailers to move units. "They got a flavour of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online". The newspaper agency, citing internal sources, revealed that the company is now in talks with multiple malls to set up stores across the country.

It's still unclear whether Google will own and operate the stores itself, or whether it'll go the franchise route instead.

The publication also notes that at least two prominent malls in India have already received requests for space to set up Google stores. It partnered with BK Modi promoted Spice Group to launch AndroidLand outlets that sold Android smartphones from leading OEMs such as Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, Sony, Xolo, Micromax, Karbonn, and of course, Spice. Apple, however, has been lobbying hard in India for single-brand retail licence to be able to open its own stores.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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