Will the “Made by Google” pop-up shops be followed by a retail chain?
With the debut of a whole line of devices, including Pixel smartphones, the Google Home voice-activated speaker, the Daydream View VR headset, the Chromecast Ultra streaming TV device and Google Wifi, it just makes sense that Google would look for as many retail avenues as possible. So, it’s no surprise with the Christmas holiday selling season fast approaching that Google would open a pop-up shop in New York City. The question then becomes, will Google stop at pop-ups or go for something more permanent?
Google is opening a “Made by Google” temporary store on Oct. 20 at 96 Spring St. in Manhattan. Google, as noted in a previous RetailWire discussion article is investing to become a major player in hardware à la Apple and Amazon. In doing so, it seems logical Google would pursue shop-within-a-shop arrangements with other retailers. The brand could also open permanent stores.
Were it to open permanent stores, would Google follows Apple’s lead and try to create a retail mecca for consumers looking to bask in the Google experience? Or would Google follow Amazon’s lead opening smaller stores that feature its latest tech while also serving as a pickup and return location for Google Express orders?
Jan Dawson, chief analyst with Jackdaw Research, told USA Today that Google could build a network of stores if it is willing to make the investment in time as well as financial and human resources.
“Look at Apple — it launched its first stores 15 years ago, has been ramping up steadily since, and still has under 300 U.S. stores. Microsoft is an even more relevant and a more recent example,” he told USA Today. “If you’re willing to sacrifice some of the premium in the retail experience, you can roll out more quickly — Microsoft has around 100 U.S. stores.”
- Google’s self-made hardware is getting a pop-up shop in New York – TechCrunch
- #MadeByGoogle Pixel shop to pop up in NYC – USA Today
- Will Google’s new devices give Apple and Amazon some competition? – RetailWire
- Made by Google – Google
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think is the most likely retail scenario for Google as the company pursues avenues for selling its devices? Do you think Google will move beyond pop-up shops to create its own permanent retail stores selling “Made by Google” products?