Google is considering plans to open its own retail stores, and thus copying the Apple model, according to the Wall Street Journal. The shops would sell Google-branded hardware, including Chromebook devices.
The move would initially be in the US, but there’s no guidance on where – or when – this might happen. Barely two years ago CEO Larry Page showed no enthusiasm for getting into bricks and mortar. The difference today is that Google now owns Motorola Mobility which builds smartphones and tablets, and today’s Google thinking is evaluating whether the Motorola division should offer the consumer-facing retail arm or whether Google should adopt the role itself. Another question is how Google might manage important partners such as Samsung or Sony, where Google’s Android operating system is present.
Google also has its own ‘Skunk-works’ Google X development division, run by founder Sergey Brin, and products such as the wearable Google Glass products might also be candidates for showcasing in the retail environment.