Google mulling over bricks and mortar
Internet giant Google is reviewing the viability of entering the world of bricks and mortar through the lease of retail outlets in shopping centres.
Although still in its infancy, reports from the US are that the search engine is keen to take advantage of the growth in demand for consumer electronic with face to face service.
The move comes as retail services, which includes mobile phones and devices, continue to outperform in sales within shopping centres.
In the half year result for CFS Retail Fund, released today, retail services sales rose 4.1 per cent across its malls, including Chatswood in Sydney and Chadstone in Melbourne, against a negative 1.7 per cent in apparel sales.
According to a report in the US-based 9to5 blog network, the success of Apple, Samsung, Sony and Microsoft, in their retail outlets has been carefully watched and tracked by the Google head office executives.
Further fuelling this interest in expanding to direct sales was Google’s acquisition last year of Motorola Mobility.
The US blog, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, says Google is also looking at expanding its Android business, which also manufactures home entertainment devices and could increase its development into the electronic devices and phones businesses.
According to the report in the WSJ, Google could also use retail stores to show off these products as well Google TV software that is embedded in some TV sets and set-top boxes, allowing people to browse web video content from their televisions.
Apple has 400 stores worldwide and is said to be on an aggressive expansion plan in bricks and mortar within Australia, as malls are redeveloped and offer flagship-style stores.
In response to the changes in consumer behaviour, Sony said it would focus on an extension of the kiosk- style store that operates in Westfield Chatswood in Sydney.
"This retail model offers shoppers the opportunity to get hands-on with Sony products in a flexible, high-traffic location," the company said.
A comment has been requested from Google.