Google tipped for flagship retail move - Mobile World Live

Google tipped for flagship retail move

17 AUG 2018

Search giant Google declined to comment on reports it is preparing to open its first permanent retail store in the US to showcase its growing range of devices.

The company was tipped to open a flagship outlet in Chicago, with sources stating Google had worked on lease arrangements for a multi-level store close to its existing office in the city, Chicago Tribune reported.

Google has tested the waters in retail for some time, setting up outlets within other stores including Best Buy. It also opened a pop-up shop in New York City in 2016 to coincide with the release of its original Pixel smartphone, repeating the trick with the addition of a second shop in Los Angeles for its Pixel update in 2017.

The move would give Google a premium location to show off its expanding hardware portfolio including Pixel smartphones, tablets, Home smart speaker and Nest smart home products. The move would increase consumer awareness as it looks to strengthen its hand against rivals including Apple and Amazon.

Amazon primarily relies on pop-up shops to showcase its products, which include the Echo range of smart speakers and Fire tablets. But competition with Google is coming to a head: Strategy Analytics noted Amazon’s share of the smart speaker market dropped to 41 per cent in Q2 from 76 per cent in Q2 2017, while Google’s share jumped from 16 per cent in the 2017 period to 28 per cent in the recent quarter.

Google is expected to debut new products for its Home line along with a new Pixel smartphone and potentially a Pixel Watch at a launch event later this year. Past launches were held in the month of October.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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