retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Google may soon open retail stores in the US that would sell Google-branded hardware, "in another sign the company is studying Apple Inc.'s playbook for building a consumer-electronics brand." Apple has about 400 stores worldwide, generating about $10 billion in annual sales.

No timetable has been set for the store openings, though a 2013 launch is not out of the question.

According to the story, "There would be a lot for Google to display in its own retail stores. Google's Android division has been developing home-entertainment devices, and in recent years it has worked closely with hardware manufacturers to build Android-powered smartphones and tablets under the Nexus brand that Google has sold through its website.

"Google has also developed low-priced Chromebook laptops, powered by its Chrome operating system and built by hardware makers such as Samsung ... Google could also use retail stores to show off Google TV software that is embedded in some TV sets and set-top boxes, allowing people to browse Web video content from their televisions."
KC's View:
To me, the most interesting thing about these stores will be how they look and attempt to redefine the bricks-and-mortar experience through the Google prism. I just hope they don't do what Microsoft did, which was basically copy the Apple Stores model with slightly darker wood.