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Google Plans to launch retail stores in India by late 2018
28 December 2017, 12:31 | Eugene Bates
CNET CBS Interactive
The tech giant has already been starting its campaign to promote its devices by opening various pop-up stores across India including High Street Phoenix in Mumbai and Select Citywalk, Promenade, Mall of India in Delhi-NCR region. The report notes representatives from a couple of malls have confirmed they have received requests from the company to setup outlets. The Economic Times got this tip from persons who are aware of company's plan. The third person saidGoogle had hired a senior Apple executive as part of its plan.
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.
Apart from the Pixel range of smartphones, Google retail stores would sell a range of Google-made products including the Google Home line of smart speakers. "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.
Google's retail push is also aimed at highlighting its nascent hardware ecosystem, including the Daydream View headset, the Chromecast, and even the Google Home, which could launch in India sometime next year. Some large format retail stores have also dedicated some space to showcase the Pixel smartphones. More malls are perhaps receiving enquiries for setting up of stores by Google. Sources familiar with the matter suggest a final decision is likely to be taken soon and the first Google stores in India could be launched in the second half of next year. "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 Chief Executive of Spice Connect, Dilip Modi.
Offline stores are important for Indian market where flagship phones cost much. It hasn't been selling all that well in India mainly due to the strong presence of Apple, Samsung as well as Chinese players Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo, all of which sell online as well as offline. 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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