Google is planning to open stores in India to boost Pixel sales

Google is planning to open stores in India to boost Pixel sales

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. Google has also requested two renowned malls in India for setting up the stores. The launch did not get the excitement that Google had anticipated however, but hopefully, this time around, we should expect Google's second coming to be a more popular affair. One of them said that Google has such plans to open stores or as he said, "experience centres" in India, while the second person said that Google is considering it, adding to which the third person revealed that Google has hired a senior Apple executive to plan this.

"They got a flavor of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online", one of the malls' executives told ET. But unlike the other two, Google's Pixel 2 series smartphones aren't that easy to find.

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For those of you who didn't know, Google had, in fact, tried its luck at opening retail stores in India back in 2013. As offline stores seem to be a big deal now for the Indian smartphone market as it overtook the United States as the second-largest smartphone market in the world, every brand, including Google, may fall short without any offline presence.

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. They launched with 1,000 offline stores, but it looks like Google will have to do a lot more to ensure steady sales of its flagship smartphones in the face of intense competition. They had some outlets in the country in collaboration with Spice Connect, but they shut them soon very quickly.

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At this point, it's unclear if Google will be applying for a single-brand license or go the franchisee route. 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.

Rival Apple too is planning to setup single-branded store in India since mid-2106, but could do so, as it was facing issues with regard to government's clause for retailers to locally source at least 30% of the raw goods sold in such shops.

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