Google may set up retail stores in India to spur Pixel sales

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According to The Economic Times, these traditional stores are now being evaluated, with the locations possibly being branded as "experience centres".

India is the world's second largest smartphone market, second only to China. Recently, these pop-up stores have been set up at various malls like the High Street Phoenix in Mumbai, and Select Citywalk, Promenade, Mall of India in Delhi-NCR. The search giant hired a key Apple executive to help with the expansion, and plans to open "experience stores" where users can try out the new features. If Google does decide to go ahead with the plan, the "experience centres" could be used to sell more than just the Pixel smartphones. Google is encouraged to open retail stores in India as the brand has received some positive response when they opened a dozen of pop-up stores across different malls 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.

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"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. These stores showcase the company's latest Pixel 2 smartphones to consumers. 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. Google doesn't quite enjoy the same brand cachet as Samsung or Xiaomi, and launching retail stores could be useful in increasing awareness of the brand's hardware products.

For those of you who didn't know, Google had, in fact, tried its luck at opening retail stores in India back in 2013.

Google might also set up shop in the country to sell their other devices, such as the Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast streaming devices, View virtual reality (VR) headsets, and their Pixel laptops. They had some outlets in the country in collaboration with Spice Connect, but they shut them soon very quickly.

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