Downplaying reports of Google planning retail stores, the company's Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content, Andy Rubin, has said that the company does not need to take that step, and has nothing to announce on that front.
At a roundtable discussion with Journalists at the Mobile world Congress, the Android chief said that consumers don't have to go in the store and feel devices anymore. He also added that Google's Nexus devices are at too early a stage to think about offering them in a retail store.
"For Nexus, I don't think the program is far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store," said Rubin.
A few days back, citing "an extremely reliable source", 9to5Google had reported that the search giant was planning to enter the physical space and was in the process of building stand-alone retail stores in the US. The report had noted that the decision stemmed from Google's plans to make Google Glass available to the public as the product will have to be experienced by the customers in real-time before they decide to make a purchase. The report had indicated that the new stores would be fully independent and operated by Google.
Prior to that there was a Bloomberg report (cached copy) mentioning that Google's Irish unit had filed an application with local authorities for opening a shop within its Montevetro office in Dublin for selling "Google merchandise". Google had responded to the report via an email statement, saying that it does have the option to open retail space, and was examining all potential uses, but no final decision had been taken.
As of now, Google has several Stores-in-Stores with retailers like Best Buy in the US and 50PCWorld/ Dixon's in the UK. But these stores only offer Google an opportunity to promote its products and inform the customers of the know-how on various Google devices. Google also sells merchandise through a store at its California headquarters, but it's not open to the public.