According to reports, these retail outlets would sell Google-branded hardware and provide a personable hands-on experience similar to the Apple and Microsoft stores.
The 9to5 blog network reports that the plans to open a chain of Google-branded retail stores came as part of discussions on how to launch Google Glass.
According to a postings on Google’s job board, the search giant is hiring people to develop point of sale systems.
In addition to showcasing its Nexus line of products, Google will also likely give its low-cost line of Chromebooks a prominent place in its line of retail stores.
Google currently has small store-within-a-store models inside several Best Buy locations in the United States and PCWorld/Dixon’s in the United Kingdom.
Looking at trends in the retail sector, boutique stores, such as those from Apple, Microsoft, or Samsung, perform well quarter-over-quarter while the big-box store is going through a protracted death. Apple and Microsoft retail stores are sprouting up coast to coast, while big box stores such as Best Buy are shutting down.
Big box stores have higher overhead costs because of higher lease rates and on-hand merchandise stock. Reportedly, Apple’s retail sector had an operating margin of 22.1% in 2012 while Best Buy posted an operating margin of 1.6%.
All evidence shows that consumers have come to prefer a boutique shopping experience to the big-box store. Google now has a comprehensive lineup of products, and it makes sense that it would want to have a retail presence.
Tags: Google retail