Google To Open Retail Stores In Major U.S. Cities By End Of 2013: REPORT

Google Is Going A Step Beyond Pop-Up Stores

Following in the footsteps of its competitors, Google may finally be opting for its own brick-and-mortar retail stores.

According to 9to5Google, an "extremely reliable source" confirmed that Google is building stand-alone retail stores in the U.S. The first few stores are expected to open in major cities by the 2013 holiday season.

The report comes on the heels of the recent news that Google may open its first retail store within its European headquarters in Dublin.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, a planning application filed by the company indicates that Google intends to open a store to the public and sell “Google merchandise." However, in a statement emailed to the media outlet, Google said: "No final decision has been taken."

Google products are currently available for purchase online, as well as at pop-up shops the company has established within tech-related chains, such as Best Buy in the U.S. and Dixon's in the U.K.

In July, CNET contributor Dan Farber addressed Google's potential need to expand its pop-ups, called Chrome Zones, to branded retail stores, citing the company's competition with Apple and Microsoft.

"[I]n light of Apple's retail success and Microsoft's major retail push, Google could be compelled to make a large- scale, brick-and-mortar investment," Farber wrote.

As Time contributor Jared Newman notes, opening retail stores would make sense for Google, since most wireless carriers do not offer Google's latest Android device, the Nexus 4.

Though Google has not appeared to have any trouble selling the phone -- especially in the U.K., where the Google-LG device sold out within minutes -- retail stores could offer customers the chance to evaluate products first-hand.

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