Last week, the blog 9to5Google touted or taunted other news sources by suggesting that they had an “extremely reliable source” which informed them that not only was Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) looking to begin advancing their Android brand through stand-alone retail stores, but these same stores could even open in some markets before Christmas.
Rubbish. At least if one were to read the words of Andy Rubin, Google’s Head of Android, who today apparently said to AllthingD’s Ina Fried, “Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce.” He then continued, “A few years ago, consumers needed to touch and feel devices, but these days they can often get the information they need to make a purchase decision by talking to friends and reading reviews,” he told reporters. “They don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore.”
This essentially just echoed a similar statement made last December, when Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Shopping head, Sameer Samat, told AllThingsD that the company “had no aspirations to open a store.”
There is wisdom to this decision. While Google has the money to make a foray into the physical one-brand retail store, look at those who have failed doing just that. IBM, CompuAdd, Gateway, Dell, and Microsoft to a lesser extent as they simply tried to copy Apple’s efforts. The thing most elusive and what Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) won’t ever obtain is.. $6000 in revenue per square foot — double their closest retail counterpart, Tiffany & Co.
Unlike Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) didn’t have much of a choice and also had a few products that customers, at least at the beginning, needed to see and touch while having their hands held in order to even consider purchasing. Namely, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Hell, even the MacBook and higher end models of both laptops and desktops. It was this vision that took Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) from near bankruptcy to the biggest company in the world.
I agree that consumers rely on word of mouth to make purchases as well as online review sites. What I refuse to believe is…..people will pay $15o0 to purchase Google Glass without trying them on and testing their features. Most people won’t have friends who will make an impulse purchase like that either so that they might try theirs out before finally purchasing it.
Additionally, when the Chromebook Pixel is released, which will supposedly possess the highest pixel density of any laptop on the market, wouldn’t you want to show it off?
Perhaps Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is simply waiting to build its flagship retail store until one of their self driving cars is directed to my house in order to pick me up and drive me there. OK THAT WOULD BE REALLY EFFING COOL.