Feeds

Google to open flagship retail stores by end of 2013

How much is that cloud in the window?

High performance access to file storage

Apple and Microsoft both have their own, dedicated retail stores. Can Google be far behind? If the rumors are true, the answer is "not at all," with the first Google stores due to open by the end of this year.

Citing "an extremely reliable source," the gossipmongers at 9to5Google report that the Chocolate Factory is hard at work on plans to open its own flagship stores in "major metropolitan areas" in time for this year's holiday season.

The stores will reportedly highlight Google's Nexus devices, the Chrome browser, Chromebooks, and other new products to come, with an emphasis on giving prospective customers the chance to get hands-on with Googly kit before they buy.

About those aforementioned new products: according to 9to5Google's source, foremost among them will be Glass, the Chocolate Factory's much-ballyhooed experiment in wearable computing – which makes some sense, considering that few customers are likely to be willing to drop $1,500 on one of those based on looks alone.

If your Reg hack were to speculate, however, he'd reckon Google would have an easier time moving a glitzy, high-end Chromebook if it had a few retail locations in which to show them off, as well.

Besides consumer electronics, Google is also said to be planning to use the stores to showcase some of its other, more far-reaching technologies, such as its self-driving cars and various projects from its Google X labs.

Admittedly, the idea of a Google retail empire does sound a little far-fetched, given that Google still derives the vast majority of its income from online advertising rather than selling products. But all of Google's products – in addition to those of its OEM partners for Android and Chrome OS – help drive more traffic to the web, so promoting them more heavily would be in keeping with the company's broader goals.

The new stores wouldn't be the online ad-slinger's first foray into bricks and mortar. Google already operates a few hundred pop-up stores within Best Buy locations in the US and in PCWorld/Dixon's stores in the UK, which are mostly geared toward acquainting customers with Chromebooks.

And then, of course, there's always the feel-good factor to consider. Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook compared Cupertino's retail stores to "Prozac" and said that he likes to visit them whenever he's feeling blue.

Given how often Apple and Google butt heads these days, Larry Page and Sergey Brin are sure to have some down days of their own. Why shouldn't they get to have some retail therapy as well? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.