Seth Weintraub, writing for 9to5Google:
An extremely reliable source has confirmed to us that Google is in the process of building stand-alone retail stores in the U.S. and hopes to have the first flagship Google Stores open for the holidays in major metropolitan areas.
The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers. Google feels right now that many potential customers need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase.
Smart move. The go-to-market strategy for the Nexus device line seems non-existent right now.
I had terrible experiences trying out the Google TV a couple years ago and the Nexus devices last year in Best Buy stores. I know Google can create a far better experience better than that, and I don’t know anywhere else to go play with a Google device.
While Microsoft has struggled to create products that deliver on the “sell the experience rather than specs or features” vision, Google is getting much closer. If Google is going to continue investing in device design and manufacturing, they need far more people to feel that experience.
NOTE: Google Glass – which I’m reserving judgement on until I have the device – seems like a particularly difficult product to try/play with in an indoor space. IF the product is impressive in a retail store, though, I’d guess it will be their biggest sales channel by far.