Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Google Wants A Retail Presence

The web scared away brick and mortar businesses.  Many are gone or facing collapse because of the rise of online businesses.  Sharper Image and Circuit City are gone while Best Buy is having trouble surviving.  Many complain that Amazon has been able to under price because they don't have the same expenses as a brick and mortar retailer.  Computer and electronic retailers are having trouble, all but one.  Apple continues to thrive while others have suffered.  And Google wants to prove that they can compete is this space too.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is ready to follow Apple and Microsoft into the retail space.  "As the report points out, Google would have several options for technology to showcase in potential stores, such as Chromebook laptops and Google TV."  But following Apple may not be easy.  Even Ron Johnson hasn't been able to take the learnings from his days at Apple to growing the J.C. Penny retail presence.  But that may not stop Google.

It may be hard for Google to build a retail brand.  Apple sells just Apple products; Google may own Motorola but they also license their software to other brands.  A Google store might simple end up looking like another Best Buy.  How Google differentiates its store may be difficult.  Apple controls the pricing of its products, whether at their store, at Target, or online; Google  may not be able to control the price of products and so their store may not be able to provide the same or better price than elsewhere.  And that might ultimately limit the success of their retail business.

No comments:

Post a Comment