Google is preparing to follow on the heels of Apple and Microsoft and will open its own bricks-and-mortar retail locations, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The report has few details, but quotes “people familiar with the matter” who say the retail stores would likely sell Google-branded hardware in a move that looks to mimic the success of Apple retail stores.
Before The Wall Street Journal ran its story, the idea of Google retail store was reported on the tech blog 9to5Google. “The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers,” writes contributor Seth Weintraub.
Google already has Chrome stores in U.S. Best Buys, but the new retail stores would operate independently, said the report on 9to5Google.
Such a store would allow consumers to test-drive new products, writes Christopher Versace at Forbes. “Like Apple and Microsoft, Google probably wants consumers to get a better feel and hands-on experience with its own hardware products,” he says.
The question now, writes Versace, is whether a Google store could capture the imagination–and consumer dollars–in the same way Apple has.