Google to setup its own experience stores in India

Alonzo Simpson
December 27, 2017

All in all, Google's plan of opening such stores may help the company gain more visibility, reach out to more customers and ultimately increase sales of its products.

Having said that, Google also has been opening pop-up stores in cities like Mumbai and Delhi-NCR to exhibit the Google Pixel 2 smartphones. The company is also said to have hired a senior Apple executive to be part of its expansion plans.

According to a report in The Economic Times, Google is getting ready to open brick and mortar stores in India to improve the sales of its Pixel devices, said people who are familiar with the matter. Many large format retail stores have dedicated store-within-stores for the Pixel as well.

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There are 1.2 billion mobile subscribers in India, and players like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Apple have a healthy lead in smartphone marketshare. "They got a flavor of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online", a top mall executive told the site. They got good traction.

According to sources, Google will be focussing on improving the number of experience centres across India, as the response from these activities has been encouraging. The positive response from these pop-up stores is being cited as one of the main motivating factors to open permanent stores. In 2013, Google had in partnership with BK Modipromoted Spice Group rolled out AndroidLand outlets to sell Android smartphones from brands such as Samsung, Sony, HTC, Lenovo, Xolo, Micromax and Karbonn, alongside Spice, which also sells its own branded smartphones. "We had done two stores as part of the pilot and then we could not proceed with the project as they did not meet with our desired objectives", said Chief Executive of Spice Connect, Dilip Modi.

It's still unclear whether Google will own and operate the stores itself, or whether it'll go the franchise route instead.

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