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Google is planning to open brick-and-mortar store in India

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The move comes close on the heels of rival Apple Inc.’s India debut last year with Apple-branded stores in Mumbai and New Delhi

New Delhi: Alphabet Inc. is planning to open a Google-branded brick-and-mortar store in India to sell a gamut of Google’s products and showcase it as an experience centre in a country that is increasingly becoming an important market for global tech companies, two sources familiar with the plans said.

“A team from Google from the US was here in India last week. They comprised of four-five member senior management team from the US,” one of the sources said asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the information. “They had visited New Delhi and Mumbai as part of their India study for the store opening and visited some malls in both the cities,” the person added sharing that Google is looking at New Delhi and Mumbai for possible location of its first store in India.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment. “We don’t have anything to share at this time but will be in touch as soon as we do,” the spokesperson said in an email response.

Alphabet Inc. is planning to open brick-and-mortar Google store in India
Google Store, Williamsburg, Brooklyn designed by Delson Or Sherman Architects Pc

Google’s plans come close on the heels of Apple Inc.’s India debut last year with its company-owned-and-operated Apple-branded stores in Mumbai and New Delhi. IndiaRetailing had reported that Apple is buoyed by the response to its Apple-branded stores in the country and is now planning to roll out the same kind of outlets in Bengaluru and Pune as part of its expansion. Two weeks ago, an Apple team from the US also travelled to Bengaluru and Pune and visited some malls in those cities.

Alphabet operates omnichannel Google Store outlets in some US cities including New York and Mountain View in California and they stock a wide range of Google products ranging from Pixel phones to Nest products, Fitbit devices to Pixelbooks among other items.

“We’ll have experts on hand to help visitors get the most out of their device, such as troubleshooting an issue, fixing a cracked Pixel screen or helping with installations,” Google had said in a press release at the time of opening of Google’s first brick-and-mortar store in New York in 2021. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a longtime Pixel user, are curious about our Nest displays or want to participate in one of the how-to workshops we’ll offer throughout the year — our team will be able to provide you with help that’s specific and personalized to your needs.”

Next year, Alphabet followed it up by rolling out another store in New York in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In September 2023, the Mountain View-based tech titan opened another Google Store in its home state of California. The store sold electronic items including phones, tablets, watches, cameras, and speakers among other Google products.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for smartphones, tablets and wearables products among other items. But Google is trailing far behind Apple in terms of business in the South Asian emerging country. India is among the brightest markets for Apple with the Cupertino company generating Rs 49,321 crore in sales from the country in fiscal year 2023, up 48% from financial year 2022 sales of Rs 33,381 crore. In 2023, Apple achieved a milestone of shipping 10 million iPhones to India, a 60% jump from the previous year.

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