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Andy Rubin Denies Rumors of Google Retail Stores, We Cry a Little Inside

andy rubin

In a bit of sad news, Andy Rubin recently shot down rumors that Google intends to open up retail stores by the end of 2013. In short, Andy stated that thanks to the Internet, the need for physical storefronts just isn’t there and that consumers don’t need to go into a store and feel a product anymore. Furthermore, even the necessity of getting Nexus devices into the hands of consumers isn’t there yet. 

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.

In the words of a certain 90’s boy band, “quit playin’ games with my heart.”

Via: All Things D

  • i cried a lot on the inside.

  • Thank goodness! Bad, bad idea.

  • Rey Velasquez

    NOOOOO!!! (cry’s frantically) Damn it this would’ve been awesome. too bad. I guess not yet is better than never.

  • Truth

    This is why you never ever believe anything from 9 to 5 Google. They are the worst news source around.

  • Otto Dieffenbach

    They should at least do kiosks for Glass.

  • Dain Laguna

    Ok mr ‘phone shouldnt be your assistant’. I bet itll still happen

  • brkshr

    I was wondering why Google would open retail stores… I think that is a huge reason why they can sell the N4, N7 & N10 so cheap. They don’t have a brick & mortar store to pay for. We don’t see Amazon stores anywhere for a reason.

    • Ben Taylor

      But we do see Amazon goods (Kindles, primarily) being sold in brick and mortar stores. They are fine taking a fiscal hit on the hardware because they expect to make it up in the app store. Console makers do the same thing because they expect to make it up in licensing deals.

      As for Google and retail stores, there are still a lot of people that think android is a Verizon brand, don’t know what chrome is, let alone a chromebook, and won’t know about Glass until years after launch. Google seems to not be trying to directly compete with Apple, contrary to all the press that says otherwise.

      • brkshr

        Nexus 7’s are sold in retail stores as well (Walmart) & Nexus 4s are available at T-Mobile stores. That still doesn’t mean that Google should open their own stores. Having your products for sale at a large retail store & opening your own stores to sell only your products are two very different business models. If we want Nexus devices to remain as cheap as possible, why would we want them adding the extra expense of having physical stores that they will have to pay rent, utilities & employees?

        Don’t get me wrong. I would definitely be going to them if they did open. I just don’t see it as a necessary business move for them, or a good move for us.

  • Detonation

    “Andy stated that thanks to the Internet, the need for physical storefronts just isn’t there and that consumers don’t need to go into a store and feel a product anymore”

    I disagree, and I think Apple would too. Every time I pass an Apple store it’s always packed. Checking out a product in person isn’t the only thing a store allows for – in person support and training are also a huge deal they’re missing out on.

    • JMonkeYJ

      if you look closer, you’ll see about 50% of the people in the store are employees. it’s a clever (but expensive) way to make them seem really busy. they do get busy and then it’s just a madhouse because of the excess employees. i discovered this recently when i went in one for the first time in years.

    • There’s a reason for the Apple Tax.
      Apple Stores.

  • U Mad Bro? No But Your Mom Is

    “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.” Here’s a thought Andy, if you guys would actually spend more than $500 in advertising then you would need physical retail stores for Nexus. Plus, you wouldn’t have to be worried about companies like Samsung. Good grief. Nexus products are the best, how about you guys at Google start believing that for yourself and advertise the flippin’ mess out of them and take Android/Nexus to a whole other level. PLEASE!!!

  • sagisarius

    In MN we have an Apple store and a Microsoft store literally across the hall from one another at the Mall of America, I keep hoping Google will just put up a little Kiosk directly between the two.

    • will bartlett

      that was posted on google plus by me when this story first came out!

  • MichaelFranz

    I don’t blame them, there isnt a need. One thing that would be cool is a setup in lets say a mall where they have devices to be displayed to play with and used so users can get a hands on feel.

    If you have ever seen a Tesla store they have all their cars for display, sell barely nothing maybe a T-Shirt or 2 and just have the most important thing to show

  • Finire

    I notice though that this refers specifically to the nexus devices, not to the Google Glass Project, maybe there’s still a little hope?

  • Futbolrunner

    Consumers need to be able to see what they’re buying. If I’m gonna drop a couple hundred bucks, you best believe I’m gonna play before I pay.

    I can’t even begin to count how many fools I see inside of an Apple store when I walk by. Google has some real great products to showcase but at the same time I don’t believe they/public are there yet to have a brick and mortar.

  • coolsilver

    Yup. Same thing I thought originally. No reason to have it yet

  • Austin Warren

    Damnit, I hope they change their mind soon. Stocks need to go up.

  • JBartcaps

    I need to go in a store and feel the product first, well I prefer to feel it first

  • Eric Franca

    Well if they’re not doin that, they need to partner with some kind of brick and mortar store in order for people to try some of their products. Especially something like Glass, where you can’t make a video review of the user interface very well. Wallyworld, Best buy, someone…

    • Sure, that’s a good idea. We just have to make sure it’s not Best Buy lol

      • MikeCiggy

        RadioShack needs to help. Don’t know many people even going to RadioShack anymore they could use something like a Google partnership to stay alive.

        • Finire

          RadioShack needs help because they really screwed themselves over. RadioShack used to be the place that I could go and get any small electronics I wanted. Then they tried to get rid of all of that, and sell TVs and Cell Phones… RadioShack either needs to get back to their roots, or just die off.

        • Raven

          The Shack used to be my favorite place to go as a kid. I grew up on TRS CoCos and their electronic project kits. But, they have become totally irrelevant, just reselling other peoples products at inflated prices. I have not been in one for years. Google should just buy out their stores and rename them to Google Shacks.

      • Diablo81588

        What’s wrong with best buy?

        • Futbolrunner

          They don’t carry the Nexus 7 or 10, not even online. Dunno why. They might carry the 4 because the sell T-Mobile service.

      • Eric Franca

        Really anywhere would be fine with me. I was personally dying to find a Nexus 10 on display in stores for me to mess around with, but I reluctantly bought it online anyway. I don’t regret it, but I was hoping for somewhere to play with it and feel the product in my hand. For big money investments, it becomes more important for the user to feel that product ahead of time. Rubin might think otherwise, but I just disagree from a personal standpoint. I think, for instance, they could have sold many many more Nexus devices (7, 10, 4, whatever) if they had them on display somewhere. Personally, I feel very strange buying something I’ve never played with (particularly when it’s something that I will use daily). Unless this Google Glass situation is $200-300 or less, I’ll have a hard time justifying it’s purchase until I read every review on it after the release (which is essentially what I did for the N10). IMO they’d sell more, quicker with a place to try it out which would spread the popularity just by word of mouth and also make it more of a “normal” piece of hardware people might use and less of a “you look ridiculous with that thing on your head” type of hardware. The quicker that transition happens, the better the product will do.

  • That’s bad. I think Google really needs physical retail stores.

    • Why is that? I think the novelty of the idea is pleasing, but I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal. Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy it, but Rubin has a point.

      • JoshGroff

        Most consumers like to try devices before they buy them.

        • Not according to Andy Rubin. With the numbers pointing to people feeling more comfortable with buying everything offline, he has that point covered I think.

          • Stephen

            He’s wrong. Buying a movie or a book site unseen is different than buying a TV, Computer, or Phone. I may buy it online, but I need to see it in person first. Pictures and video only tell you so much.

          • JoshGroff


          • With tons of retail stores closely, I don’t necessarily think the vast majority agrees.

            That being said, I definitely like looking at/testing products before I buy. I think it all comes down to people being lazy.

          • Ian Winchell

            True, but he basically just said the brand wasn’t far enough along yet, yet. I know for me i can buy a nexus device online and feel good about it, for a phone that is not a nexus phone (which i don’t have) i need to hold it, interact with it to see if i like it, but a nexus device not so much, and i think i’m their base for now (give me the tech specs and i’ll come here to get opinions reviews), as the brand builds credibility i think we will see it in the future or at least a partnership with a retailer. I would love to see a nice shiny android store though, they would probably have to physically remove me to get me to leave.

          • randy

            Tim slobs on all things android so if Rubin said it then it must be true.

          • Totally. That’s exactly how I feel. Spot on, good sir! /s

          • JoshGroff

            That doesn’t mean they don’t either try them in store or try a friend’s phone before buying one. People buy them online because it’s cheaper, but brick and mortar stores are still important.

          • ERIC REED

            “Not according to Andy Rubin”.
            Sounds a lot like “Not according to Steve Jobs”.

          • I would expect Rubin to know more than myself on the matter, so why not trust the guy who is in charge of Android as a whole. Trolls never cease to amaze me. lol

          • ERIC REED

            Oh I’m sorry. Andy Rubin said it so it must be true. I totally agree that no one wants to test drive products before buying them. I mean who does that besides none Rubin followers?

      • Bob G

        I think it would only be a possible route should Google manufacture their own products. Better ROI then.

      • In a word: warranty. Consumers hate sending out their devices to be repaired. Apple got it right in the sense of same day replacements for their entire lineup, paid or not. This is only possible by having a retail store.

        Albeit Google’s advanced RMA is nice, it only applies in the first 15 days or so and after that you’d have to deal with the manufacturer.

      • EC8CH

        Buying something from Google offline would be like buying something from Apple at a reasonable price. Just doesn’t make any sense.

      • DrJohnZoidberg

        He certainly does have a point, its a heavy lift and expense that has a large chance of not having much of a payoff. That being said however, Google might benefit from a few big stores in strategic markets with heavy foot traffic. Create something that Apple Stores aren’t. Think about a store that mirrors Android booths at places like MWC. Instead of a sterile store with condescending “geniuses” and the same stuff that’s been there for years try a fresh, fun approach.

        Obviously not purely for any Android phone but put the Nexus line up there, have the X Phone in stores for people to try out. Have TV’s hooked up to next generation GoogleTV boxes for people to play with. The new Pixel Chromebook, are you really going to spend a hefty chunk of cash for a computer you can’t even use first to see how it runs? If they’re serious about creating a market and making Glass mainstream people are going to have to put it on first and get the full experience. Beside the Android enthusiasts and gadget geeks, are people really going to plunk down money on something they’ve only seen concept videos of before? People are going to have to get over the initial, “These look kind of funny on people” mentality and see what life is like with them on, these big stores would be a great place to start.

        And if they are indeed worried about Samsung’s grip on the Android universe right now (which I’m skeptical of) then what better from an earned media standpoint to create a buzz around a Nexus launch or X Phone premier than fanboys lining up around the block for one?

        • Futbolrunner

          YOU, should work for Google.

  • SirSoloDolo

    It would have given a new meaning to “Google Hangouts”

    • Sirx

      More like Google Loitering.

      “No Google Loitering within 50 feet of entrance.” –Statute 510.3/b

    • Emily Boyd

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  • That’s disappointing. I was hoping to work at the Robot Lab. *wink*