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

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

Google is planning to bring brick-and-mortar stores to one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world. The Economic Times reports that Google is now planning on opening "experience centers" in the country where people can try Google's flagship phone, the 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.

According to The Economic Times, these traditional stores are now being evaluated, with the locations possibly being branded as "experience centres". "They are considering it", said another person, who said the company might roll out stores in the latter part of 2018.

To gauge the response of consumers across India, Google has opened a few pop-up stores in malls in various Indian cities, including High Street Phoenix in Mumbai and Select Citywalk, Promenade, Mall of India in Delhi-NCR region.

Google has not been particularly concerned about the sales performance of its latest Pixel devices in India and the company has been lax in its promotion strategy. "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. Dubbed as Androidland, the stores offered Android-based handsets from Samsung, HTC, Sony, Xolo, Lenovo, Micromax and more.

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Offline market is one place where Google has been lagging behind.

Retail stores are the ideal platform for increasing awareness of Google's hardware ecosystem.
One executive at a mall claims that the pop-ups have imparted on Google how retail is "important because you can't explain numerous features online".

Google will also sell other products like Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast, Pixel laptops and Daydream View virtual reality headsets as well. Samsung branded stores are owned and operated by franchisees in India, Xiaomi's Mi Home physical outlets are owned by franchisees.

"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 Dilip Modi, chief executive of Spice Connect. Apple, however, has been lobbying hard in India for single-brand retail licence to be able to open its own stores.

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