The company's spokesperson opined, "Google is exploring the idea of physical stores after finding an encouraging response to more than a dozen pop-up stores opened in malls across the country to showcase the second generation Pixel phones". 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.
According to The Economic Times, these traditional stores are now being evaluated, with the locations possibly being branded as "experience centres". Larger smartphone makes like Google, however, have not really had a hands-on approach, until now.
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Retail stores are the ideal platform for increasing awareness of Google's hardware ecosystem.These stores were run for a month and they even arranged a dark room to demonstrate the capability of the Pixel 2 to take photographs even in low light conditions.
This is Google's latest strategy to boost smartphone sales in India, where it's not just trailing Apple and Samsung, but also Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo. The third person said Google had hired a senior Apple executive as part of its plan. TheEconomic Times also reports that two other "prominent" malls in india have seen requests to open Google retail space.
These new stores will be able to offer the latest Google products such as the Google Home smart speakers, Daydream and View VR headsets and other such accessories.
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"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. Android phone-brands Xiaomi, Motorola, which are touted as the torch bearers of the online flash sales in India, are ramping up offline shops across India with Mi Homes and Moto Hubs (exclusive and also JV with Poorvika Mobiles), respectively to increase market share and challenging the Samsung's long reign in India.
At this point, it's unclear if Google will be applying for a single-brand license or go the franchisee route. Joining the bandwagon is Apple too, who is planning to launch its own series of stores all over India.
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