Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Google to open retail stores. Just in time for Google Glasses?

Rumours abound, strong rumours, of Google opening its own high-street retail stores, starting in the US main cities this year.

As Apple know, having shops, can bring customers into contact with your brand in a real personal, helpful way. Especially when you're a Google and largely only known for Search. It's interesting too, a company moving from Web into retail stores - kind of like Amazon opening book stores - but this could be a plan just in time for Google Glass (or "Google Goggles" as most of us know them).

In retail you can touch, see, hold, demo the product and for something so new, it could be a great sales channel for glasses. Or indeed, a new world of wearable computing which is ahead of us.

They're likely too to come at the end of the year, "coincidentally" in time for the launch of Google Glass. They could also sell Chrome computing and of course, Nexus smartphones and tablets moving perceptions of Google from software to hardware. Google also owns the Motorola handset business.

Indeed following in the footsteps of both Apple and Microsoft who have their own retail operations, this would bring the Google brand into a new arena and reaching out to new consumers. High street, high profile retail, is a great Ad for a brand. Google already has a "sort of a" retail presence in the 'Best Buy' stores.

It may not be just about money short-term, but building a real brand long-term. Shops are one good way to do that.