Friday, February 10, 2012

Google May Open Retail Store

Google may open its first stand-alone retail store at its European headquarters in Dublin, Bloomberg reports. The move follows reports that Amazon will open its first retail outlet as well, in its home city of Seattle.

The Google Store would be open to the public and sell unspecified “Google merchandise,” Google’s Irish unit said in a local planning application. Google May Open Retail Store

There is a decades-long history of PC manufacturers, especially those selling heavily online, to open branded retail locations, Dell being among the firms that have done so, and retreated. Apple itself was heavily criticized for opening its Apple Stores, the thinking being that Apple earnings would be harmed.

But with Apple's wild success, even Microsoft and Sony have committed to retail outlets.

So retail may be a new front in Google’s competition with Apple Inc., whose 361 stores have fueled sales of iPods, iPhones and iPad tablet computers.

Google earlier opened a store inside of a London branch of Currys and PC World, units of Dixons Retail Plc, as a trial for selling laptop computers, some would also note.

Retail stores, though not a feature of the network-based video entertainment business or fixed line services (cable TV and satellite TV, or landline telephone services, for example), have become essential for sales of mobile services. Apple has shown how retail can help sales of devices. What remains to be seen is if similar results are possible for intangible "services and apps," or whether the winning formula will wind up being devices such as Kindles for Amazon, and smart phones for Google.

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