Google plotting retail stores for the US

Summary:Google already has Chromebook retail 'zones' dotted across the UK and the US, but it may also have bigger, standalone retail plans for the US in the year ahead.

Google Chrome Zone store
Is Google poised to launch retail stores in the US, such as the one in the UK above?

Google is reportedly planning to launch its own retail stores in the US.

According to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, Google is developing plans for the stores, although has no precise launch date planned and may not unveil the stores this year.

The site 9to5Google also reported recently that Google stores were on the way, citing a likely launch date ahead of the Christmas period to enable Google to shift its growing hardware range, which includes Nexus smartphones and Chromebooks.

Whatever its decision, opening its own retail stores — a step fellow software giant Microsoft has also recently taken — would be a good idea for Google, according to some analysts.

Morgan Stanley said the move would help accelerate the adoption of Android and Chrome, according to Business Insider, and give it the platform to earn similar sums to Apple's retail presences: $50m on average per store per year off an estimated build cost of $10m per store.

Morgan Stanley cites Google job postings for engineers to develop retail Point of Sale systems as evidence for stores.

They note the stores would allow customers to test before buying Google's Nexus devices and allow the company to demonstrate new technologies such as  Google Glass or its self-driving cars. Perhaps most importantly, it would fill a major gap in Google's product support infrastructure: a public face.

The company's more recent hardware challenges have been replenishing supplies of the fast-selling, low-priced Nexus 4 smartphones and Nexus 10 tablets to its online stores. 

In addition, retail stores could show off Google's Motorola-branded products, such as the rumoured X phones, which could be announced this May at the Google I/O conference, according to a report on ZDNet's sister site, CNET.

Google opened its first Chrome Zone retail outlets in London in 2011; however, these were housed within existing Dixons Retail outlets PC World and Currys. In the US it has partnered with Best Buy.

Topics: Google, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.