updated 09:19 pm EST, Sun February 17, 2013
Stores to help educate customers on Android hardware, Glass
Google is looking towards building a chain of retail stores, according to reports. The search giant is said to be joining the ranks of other tech companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, by opening its first Google Stores open by the holiday season in the United States in a number of "major metropolitan areas."
The report by 9To5Google states that Google believes that customers "need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase," and that following Apple and Microsoft's move into physical stores will help customers do just that, and possibly up the sales of Chromebooks, Android tablets and phones. Though Google does already have its store-within-a-store located in a number of larger retail environments, such as PC World in the UK and Best Buy in the US, the store housing Google's own ends up handling the final transaction rather than Google, something that would change with opening its own locations.
It is suggested that the stores would also educate customers over Google Glass, as few customers would be willing to buy an item that is expected to retail for between $500 and $1000 that does not really have an analog equivalent to compare it to. The stores would also be a location for the company to demonstrate its other hardware products to potential users, such as its driver-less car systems.