Physical Google Store coming to India to boost Pixel phone series sales

CNET  CBS Interactive

CNET CBS Interactive

These stores showcase the company's latest Pixel 2 smartphones to consumers.

Post the experiment, two malls in India have confirmed to receive requests for space so Google can set up it stores. "The company is considering it and could start opening the stores in 2018" said one of them. One person said the company has plans to open "experience centers" in India, while the second said Google is "considering it". Unsurprisingly, selling Pixel 2 smartphones will be a key area of focus, though other products in Google's lineup will also be available. Many large format retail stores have dedicated store-within-stores for the Pixel as well.

Also, at least "two prominent malls" in India said Google contacted them regarding available space, with one executive saying that Google has "a flavor of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online". Some malls where these experience zones were set up have already got inquiries from Google regarding setting up of physical stores according to the report. Sources familiar with the matter suggest a final decision is likely to be taken soon and the first Google stores in India could be launched in the second half of next year. Android phone-brands Xiaomi, Motorola, which are touted as the torch bearers of the online flash sales in India, are ramping up offline shops across India with Mi Homes and Moto Hubs (exclusive and also JV with Poorvika Mobiles), respectively to increase market share and challenging the Samsung's long reign in India. It partnered with BK Modi promoted Spice Group to launch AndroidLand outlets that sold Android smartphones from leading OEMs such as Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, Sony, Xolo, Micromax, Karbonn, and of course, Spice.

Rival Apple too is planning to setup single-branded store in India since mid-2106, but could do so, as it was facing issues with regard to government's clause for retailers to locally source at least 30% of the raw goods sold in such shops.

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