Published: Wed, December 27, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Google might set up Pixel 2 retail stores in India

Google might set up Pixel 2 retail stores in India

Alphabet Inc's Google is looking to launch brick-and-mortar stores in India to boost sales of its Pixel smartphones, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

Google has renewed its focus on hardware to test artificial intelligence tools like Google Assistant and Android software. Google has already hired a senior Apple executive to roll out the plan. As a result, the tech giant holds a minuscule share of the fast-growing Indian smartphone market.

Now, Google is going solo with the upcoming store in 2018 and hopes to make it a successful venture.

"They have plans to open stores here", said one of them, adding the company would open "experience centres" in India. 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.

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Having said that, Google also has been opening pop-up stores in cities like Mumbai and Delhi-NCR to exhibit the Google Pixel 2 smartphones. "They got a flavour of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online".

It is believed that Google's new store will be able to offer customers the crucial important hand-on experience of the premium Pixel phones.

"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 Dilip Modi, chief executive of Spice Connect. They got good traction. Many large format retail stores have dedicated store-within-stores for the Pixel as well. One of Google's key rivals, Apple too is interested in opening single-brand license stores in India.

Sources speaking to Economic Times said the retail stores could carry other Google products as well, including Google Home, Chromecast, Pixel laptops, and Daydream View.

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