The purpose of rolling out bricks and mortar retail outlets is to further push its Android-based hardware propositions, namely its Nexus and Chrome ranges, with the first outlets expected to open in the US this year.
The reports citing “an extremely reliable source” first emerged on US website 9 to 5 Google, further claiming Google feels that once customers have a “hands on” experience, they’ll be more likely to purchase its hardware.
The reports did not carry any details about plans for the opening of any UK outlets but such a move would bring a new front to Google’s battle with Apple whose real estate out helped cement its dominance in the smartphone and tablet sector here.
In 2011, Google struck a deal with PC World to open ‘pop-up’ stores during the run-up to Christmas that year. The outlets were geared towards buoying sales of Google’s Chrome laptop range in what many deem as a forerunner to opening its own-branded outlets at the time.
Last year Google rebranded its mobile app outlet from Android Market to Google Play to better emphasise the entertainment slant to its offering and increase downloads of paid-for media.
This move furthered competition with Apple and Microsoft whose respective iTunes and Xbox store propositions have faced sterner competition since its launch.