It’s no secret that Apple’s retail stores have proven extraordinarily beneficial for the company, and it looks like Google may be getting into the game now as well. 9to5Google is reporting that the company will be building a line of stand-alone retail stores, with the first locations scheduled to open by the end of the year.
Unlike Google’s current pop up-style stores inside Best Buys, these Google Stores will be more like Apple Stores and Microsoft Stores.
The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers. Google feels right now that many potential customers need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase. Google competitors Apple and Microsoft both have retail outlets where customers can try before they buy. Google’s retail move won’t be an entirely new area, however.
The decision to expand into retail was reportedly made when deciding how to best bring Google Glass to customers. That device won’t be cheap — the Explorer Edition prototype was priced at $1,500 when pre-orders opened last year — and with such a new technology requiring that kind of hefty investment, the company realized it needed to be able to introduce the product to customers directly.
Along with Glass, Google will have an opportunity to demonstrate other upcoming and Google X projects like driverless cars and mini-drone delivery systems at its stores.
Google may now understand that if it wants to roll out a whole new product category like Google Glass, it is going to have to dive into Retail.