Google may open offline stores in India next year


According to a new report, Google is planning to open physical stores in India, a move that's aimed at boosting the sales of Pixel phones in the Asian country. Perhaps this point was also driven home when it opened pop-up kiosks in malls in Mumbai and Delhi-NCR to promote its latest flagship Pixel 2. As an example, he pointed out that the pop-up store in his mall included a dark room so that consumers could see for themselves how well the Pixel 2 camera takes pictures in locations with low-lights. One executive at a mall claims that the pop-ups have imparted on Google how retail is "important because you can't explain numerous features online". "India is the world's second biggest wireless market with 1.2 billion mobile subscribers". "The company is considering it and could start opening the stores in 2018" said one of them.

These new stores will be able to offer the latest Google products such as the Google Home smart speakers, Daydream and View VR headsets and other such accessories.

Since its establishment, Google has always been keen on protecting its image and that may serve as an explanation as to why the company at times declines to make comments on rumors and speculations. The tech giant is now contemplating opening retail outlets in major cities to push the sales of its smartphones, particularly the Pixel range phones. One source is saying that Google's physical stores may open their doors as soon as the second half of next year.

In addition to opening pop-up locations in Los Angeles and NY for the 2017 Made by Google lineup, the company opened a series of similar stores in India.

Google felt encouraged to open up more stores after the success of their pop-stores.

"We had done two stores as part of the pilot and then we could not proceed with the project as they did not meet with our desired objectives", said Dilip Modi, chief executive of Spice Connect, according to ET. At least two well known malls in the country have said that they have received requests for space where Google's stores will be set up. However, a similar attempt failed earlier when Google partnered with Spice to setup 50 AndroidLand Stores in India within 18 months, but they failed miserably with having just two stores in Select Citywalk in Delhi and The Great India Place Mall in Noida, which eventually closed due to poor sales. Samsung's stores in India, for example, are owned and run by franchisees.