Sergey Brin Google Glass Demo

Google opening up a retail store or two? That's this weekend's big rumor, with a few unknown sources letting slip that the search giant might be looking to open up stand-alone shops around the U.S. in a bid to get more Google products — tablets, phones, and all the other fun things cooking at Google HQ (glasses, anyone?) — into consumer hands.

It's a move that makes complete sense, given that competitors Microsoft and Apple both have retail stores of their own for pushing out product. And while Google's tested the retail waters a bit with some "store-within-a-store" setups at various Best Buy locations across the United States, the company has yet to go the full nine yards and establish broader retails presences that could focus more on selling instead of showing, as 9to5google's Seth Weintraub suggests.

According to Weintraub, the talk of opening retail Google stores allegedly stemmed from conversations surrounding Google's upcoming "Glass" project, or Google's wearable glasses with built-in heads-up displays. The thought is that Google believes Glass is the kind of project that's more easily sold to consumers when they're given a chance to actually get their hands on (or eyes behind) the glasses themselves. Hence the notion that Google might need to step up its retail game in order to build buzz, interest, and sales around Glass and other Google-branded devices.

"Many people simply aren't going to pop for a $200 phone or tablet, and especially a $500-and-up head-mounted display, without feeling it in their hands. That's especially so when they know–or think they know, thanks to Apple's amazing marketing and product design–that they're buying what may not be the top-end products in the market. And here's the thing: Google's best products, such as its Nexus 7 tablet, are pretty darn good. So at least some of them–not all, by any means–can stand up to hands-on scrutiny," writes Forbes' Robert Hof.

There's no indication as to when Google might officially begin opening up retail stores – if that's indeed the company's projected plan. After all, it was just this past December when Google's vice president of product management, Sameer Samat, said that Google has no intentions to open up an official retail presence.


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