India is a huge smartphone market and almost every other manufacturer, apart from a few from China, wants to build a strong presence here. Xiaomi was probably the first brand which went with the online mode of selling smartphones, but surely they had to plan and start selling offline. And now, a recent report suggests that Google might be thinking to do the same by opening stores in India to boost Pixel sales.
Three people who know the matter talked to The Economic Times about what might be the plan. One of them said that Google has such plans to open stores or as he said, “experience centres” in India, while the second person said that Google is considering it, adding to which the third person revealed that Google has hired a senior Apple executive to plan this. However, a Google spokesperson refused to comment anything on this matter.
The report also mentioned that at least “two prominent malls” in India claimed that Google had contacted them regarding the available space. Google has several pop-up stores in malls across India and they were reportedly encouraged by the response of consumers at the stores.
If Google really opens stores in India, it will surely compete hard against Samsung. As offline stores seem to be a big deal now for the Indian smartphone market as it overtook the US as the second-largest smartphone market in the world, every brand, including Google, may fall short without any offline presence. Opening Google’s stores will not just boot the Pixel smartphones sales, it is being expected that they will sell Chromebook Pixel, Google Home, Google Home Mini, Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, and Daydream View as well.
Though, it is still unclear when or how Google may open stores, The Economic Times quoted that Google can go down the single-brand retailing license, which will give the company complete ownership, or the franchisee route, which allows others to officially sell Google products. 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.
It is not clear whether Google is planning to the same in other countries or not, but in the US, Google already has two pop-up stores in New York City and Los Angeles. Do you want Google to start selling phones offline? Let us know in the comments section below.
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