Google Plans to launch retail stores in India by late 2018

According to a new report at TheEconomic Times, the company is planning to open brick and mortar retail stores in India to do just that.

To gauge the response of consumers across India, Google has opened a few pop-up stores in malls in various Indian cities, including High Street Phoenix in Mumbai and Select Citywalk, Promenade, Mall of India in Delhi-NCR region. He said the company had created a "dark room" to show that the Pixel 2 can take good pictures at night or low light. While Google hasn't officially commented, one of the sources familiar with the matter has said that Google has hired a senior Apple executive to be part of its expansion plans. India is a crucial smartphone market, so this makes a lot of sense. The offline presence may launch sometime in late 2018, the report said. This will be Google's second stab at physical outlets in the country.

Google might also set up shop in the country to sell their other devices, such as the Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast streaming devices, View virtual reality (VR) headsets, and their Pixel laptops.

If Google really opens stores in India, it will surely compete hard against Samsung.

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It is pertinent to point out that it is not as if Google will be going the brick and mortar model for the first time.

Retail stores are the ideal platform for increasing awareness of Google's hardware ecosystem.
They had some outlets in the country in collaboration with Spice Connect, but they shut them soon very quickly. Android phone-brands Xiaomi, Motorola, which are touted as the torch bearers of the online flash sales in India, are ramping up offline shops across India with Mi Homes and Moto Hubs (exclusive and also JV with Poorvika Mobiles), respectively to increase market share and challenging the Samsung's long reign in India. Two top tier malls in India say that they have received requests to open Google stores in their locations.

What is not clear, however, is the exact route the company will take to set these stores up. Getting a single-brand license gives Google more control over the design of its stores, but the process itself is a lengthy affair - Apple has been trying for over a year to acquire a license.

  • Desiree Holland