Google reportedly thinking about opening stores in India to boost Pixel sales

Todd Singleton
December 27, 2017

Alphabet Inc's Google is looking to launch brick-and-mortar stores in India to boost sales of its Pixel smartphones, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

The report notes that Google is considering opening "experience centers" in the country, where customers can try out the Pixel 2 phones. One demo involves a dark room to highlight the Pixel 2's low-light camera capabilities. Many large format retail stores have dedicated store-within-stores for the Pixel as well. However, Google is also expected to use its stores to sell other hardware, such as the Chromebook Pixel, Google Home, Google Home Mini, Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, and Daydream View. Some malls where these experience zones were set up have already got inquiries from Google regarding setting up of physical stores according to the report.

In addition to opening pop-up locations in Los Angeles and NY for the 2017 Made by Google lineup, the company opened a series of similar stores in India. "They got a flavor of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online", a top mall executive told the site. The company is also said to have hired a senior Apple executive to be part of its expansion plans.

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It's still unclear whether Google will own and operate the stores itself, or whether it'll go the franchise route instead. 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. The likes of Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi have their stores run by other franchises in India.

This isn't the first time Google is dipping its feet into the offline space. Apple, however, has been lobbying hard in India for single-brand retail licence to be able to open its own stores.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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