According to an "extremely reliable source," 9to5google.com confirmed suspicions that Google plans to open physical retail stores by the end of the year, just in time for the 2013 holiday shopping season.
The main purpose of the stores will be to get the new Google Nexus, Chrome and other upcoming products into the hands of consumers who prefer to test out electronics before they buy. Google has experimented with physical retail in the form of Best Buy kiosks and airport pop-up shops, but the move to have an entire retail store dedicated to its products is novel for the Internet giant.
Seth Weintraub speculated in the article that the Google stores would operate independently, selling electronics and possibly "sell its apparel and other Google-branded merchandise" in the stores.
"The decision to open stores, I'm told, came when drawing up plans to take the Google Glass to the public," Weintraub said in his article. "The leadership thought consumers would need to try Google Glass first hand to make a purchase. Without being able to use them first hand, few non-techies would be interested in buying Google's glasses (which will retail from between $500 to $1,000). From there, the decision to sell other Google-branded products made sense."
Read more about specialty stores.