Google is planning to open stores in India to boost Pixel sales

28 December, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
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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. 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. Google, however, gave no information on the development, and told ET that the company does not comment on rumors and speculations.

While Google hasn't confirmed the reports, setting up retail in India could help the company compete with Apple and Samsung, as well as Chinese-made phones from XIaomi, Vivo and Oppo, notes TheEconomic Times.

The launch of brick and mortar stores in India could follow a dozen popup stores Google opened in recent weeks that include a dark room where the second-generation Pixel's lowlight camera capability is shown. If Google does decide to go ahead with the plan, the "experience centres" could be used to sell more than just the Pixel smartphones. "The company is considering it and could start opening the stores in 2018" said one of them.

These pop-up stores helped Google to understand that physical stores are important to explain things clearly that is not possible via online videos and advertisements. Around 4 years earlier, Google had tied up with the Spice Group owned by B.K. Modi to sell Android devices and the stores called AndroidLand to sell multiple brand products were opened.

What is not known at the moment though is whether these upcoming Google Stores will be single-brand retail or run by other franchises.

Google's retail push is also aimed at highlighting its nascent hardware ecosystem, including the Daydream View headset, the Chromecast, and even the Google Home, which could launch in India sometime next year. The company does not have strong offline channels to market its products and it has been overshadowed by the likes of Apple and Samsung. "So, maybe this could (have encouraged Google) for the decision (to open outlets)", said a senior executive at one of the malls where Google had setup the pop-up store.

What is not clear, however, is the exact route the company will take to set these stores up.


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