Last year, the Christmas weekend saw app sales shoot through the roof at a 52% increase over the previous one, and 2017 year will likely see a similar breakthrough, as Google runs its 12 Days of Play promo on the best apps and games of 2017, while Apple has $0.99 movie rentals and other App Store discounts queued up without much ado. According to a new report, Google wants to change things soon by opening brick-and-mortar stores in India.
As such, expect Google's stores to heavily push its Pixel smartphones in an effort to boost smartphone sales in the country.
While, Google hasn't officially commented on this matter, the report cites sources claiming that these stores could come up sometime in the latter part of 2018. One demo involves a dark room to highlight the Pixel 2's low-light camera capabilities. The company is also said to have hired a senior Apple executive to be part of its expansion plans. With a plan of 50 such stores and having major brands selling their handsets including the Nexus line, only two stores were set up in Select Citywalk in Delhi and The Great India Place Mall in Noida, both of which shut down due to poor sales.
Google was reportedly encouraged to open new locations after the massive interest that followed its pop-up Google Pixel 2 stores around the country, which included the High Street Phoenix shopping center in Mumbai and the Mall of India in Delhi-NCR. One executive at a mall claims that the pop-ups have imparted on Google how retail is "important because you can't explain numerous features online".
Along with Pixel phones, Google also plans to sell other products in the stores.
At least two prominent malls in India said they have received requests for space to set up Google stores. Samsung branded stores are owned and operated by franchisees in India, Xiaomi's Mi Home physical outlets are owned by franchisees.
It's unclear whether Google will open its own stores or outsource the operations to a third party.