Google is planning on opening up retail stores in major metropolitan areas by the end of the year, according to a report from 9to5Google.
Seth Weintraub, who notes that Google already has a retail presence in a number of Best Buys and PCWorld/Dixon's stores, reports (citing a "reliable source") that Google is in the process of building stand alone retail stores, and that these would be places where Google could not only sell its Nexus devices (and possibly apparel), but push its Chrome operating system, and get Google Glass into consumers' hands.
Google Glass, while it may seem like a novelty, could actually prove to be a very important product for Google, and if this is one of Google's main motivating factors for opening a chain or retail stores, that shows how important Google really does consider it.
Google was recently granted a patent, which seems to indicate the company is looking to make your actual life searchable, and Glass could play a significant role in it being able to do so. While we're looking a ways out in the future, so may contact lenses based on similar functionality. If Google is also able to refine Glass from the fashion standpoint, one can easily imagine more merchandise to fill a store.
Google is also said to be thinking about marketing a smart watch, so that's yet another potential device for Google to place on the shelves.
And who knows what else Google may have on the horizon?
It will be interesting to see what kind of presence (if any) Google gives motorola devices in these stores, assuming they actually do open. Google indicated that it would not give Motorola special treatment among device manufacturers, when it announced the acquisition.
As Google gets further into the hardware business, a retail store is a no brainer, particularly in light of what is already available from competitors. Apple has over 400 retail stores in 14 countries.
We've reached out to Google for comment, and will update accordingly.
Would you shop at a Google store?