Google has "no plans" to open retail stores

Android boss, Andy Rubin, has said at a roundtable discussion at MWC 2012, and reported by AllThingsD, that Google has "no plans" to open retails store because "[consumers] don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore." Rubin went on to say that Google's hardware effort is still in it's infancy, despite plans for Google to out-innovate all the other major players in the technology world with Glass. Currently, Google does not directly manufacture their own hardware - their flagship Android phone, the Nexus 4, is made by LG and their flagship tablet, the Nexus 7, is made by ASUS. For this reason, Google has never needed their own store.

Rubin goes on to say that Google has "no plans" to build a store. This move is odd, however, considering how successful Apple's retail stores have been; per square meter, they make more money than Tiffany & Co.'s stores ($6,050 to $3,017). Additionally, Google is moving into the hardware market with Glass, which users will want to try on before they splash "less than $1,500" on a headset. 

The wording Rubin uses - "no plans"; "nothing to announce" - could be taken as "we have no plans right now", which could mean Google is looking into opening stores around the world. 9to5Google had an insider who cited an "extremely reliable source" which said Google was looking into a retail option, so it could still be on the table. 

Source: AllThingsD Image via: OneTravel.com 

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22 Comments

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Comparing Google to Apple. What would google sell? Chrome books that no one wants, a phone, a tablet, and some glasses which have a novelty factor of a month.

Compare that to the iPhone, ipad, iMac, all their laptops, accessories etc.

They have no faith in their products and know full well google glass will be another failure like google wave, google+, google tv, etc etc etc. Why spend so many resources on google glass when they know its 1) overpriced, 2) very niche, 3) not practical, 4) is a horrible fashion statement.

This product is going to fail hard and google knows it.

You forget it has hype, I hear the average Joe's talk about it.
People are lazy, if they could do what they can do with a smartphone in a glass which requires less effort... they'd rather do so.

Also they're just experimenting half of the time. They make enough money just being Google the search engine that they can afford to play around with ideas and concepts.

I also don't see where you think they have no faith in their product.

Apple is a hardware company always has been and will be. Its simply not smart to open up stores and hire large amounts of people. To sell a nitch product. Google glass is not for mainstream its for tech geeks. They would only need to open tempory stores during the holiday season. I wouldnt be suprise to see a big push for Google glass as a "hey look at me campaign" then see the product discontinued within 2 years.

I think he's right. I very rarely visited a retail store in the past 3 years. I bought everything I needed online through amazon w/ amazon prime or clothing related sites. I can visualize its appearance, its usage, and I know my body dimensions. I know what cashmere, cotton, polyester feels like. I know the reviews behind a product and its capabilities.

People that would want to go to the store are those who can't commit to visualize it via online resources without physically feeling it. Those numbers are dwindling down in the 21st century as buyers develop confidence and knowhow with online purchases. People know what they are buying online without the need of physically seeing it.

The store is just an experience; maybe worth a go once or twice. I liked the microsoft store, but I don't plan on going there again anytime soon.

If I'd want a MS product and could get one from a MS store, I would. Rather then online.
Same goes for Apple products, or any products. Having a go with a device before buying is allot better.
If I had the option to do so with the 920, I wouldn't be so let down by the camera (online reviews made stunning pictures, yet I can see the grain and blur everywhere in my photos )

This move is odd

I don't see why it's odd that Google isn't following in Apple's footsteps. Google is still largely a software and services business.

maxslaterrobins said,
Yes, but Google is moving into hardware with Glass, Nexus range etc.

So barely a handful of products, with the majority already being sold through major retailers? I just find it strange how you've made such a comparison between Apple and Google's chosen distribution channels. It's as if you're saying "look at how much money Apple makes using retail stores; Google, why aren't you doing the exact same thing?".

Apple is still largely a software and service company. OSX and iOS sells their hardware.

And Google NEEDS to open stores eventually if they want to stay competitive.

no, Apple is first and foremost a hardware company. They always have been. They just happened to make software to make the experience on the hardware better.

Manish said,

I don't see why it's odd that Google isn't following in Apple's footsteps. Google is still largely a software and services business.

Software company? More of an advertising company with a bunch of adware.

I never said it didn't work for Apple. I'm saying they don't need a store, and right now, it'd be too soon anyway. They're not a hardware manufacturer at the level of Apple. Until they have more product that they could actually put on the shelves, it'd be a waste of time and resources, as store fronts create overhead.

A better option would be to actually have their products in retail stores. Best Buy for instance doesn't have the Nexus tablets. Compare that to Amazon and Samsung who have their own table in the store, where people can actually look at their product line up. Hell, even Apple and Microsoft have their products in retail stores; they realize the potential of having their products in the hands of consumers.

Sure it worked for Apple, but Amazon didn't need its own physical stores to sell Kindles. But I guess Amazon already had a super popular store so...

Agreed, they don't have nearly enough products to warrant a dedicated store IMO. I think (and I have no experience in selling high end electronics, I'm an IT guy not a salesman) they should push it out to the Best Buy's and Fry's stores so people can get their hands on them by purchasing them retail or through Google Play, similar to how they sell the Nexus 4 now w/ T-Mobile/Google Play.

dead.cell said,
Wayyyy too soon.

True... Google needs to wait a bit before even opening up a store. All Android phones we saw today was made by other manufactures. They could sell those like mobile carriers did.

dead.cell said,
Implying you need your own store to sell a product...

Look what they got now. It's too soon! Unless they sell Android phones and bit of their gadgets.