Will Google Follow Apple into Retail? Let’s Look at a Possible Site Location Strategy
Wednesday, February 20th 2013
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is looking to follow Apple's strategy of building retail storefronts to push it's Google branded hardware. The argument goes that part of Apple's success is that its storefront properties lured people in to sample their products. According to the Journal:
Such a move may represent a change of heart in the two years since Google co-founder Larry Page became the company's chief executive. Following Google's short-lived attempt in 2010 to bypass brick-and-mortar stores to sell the Nexus One smartphone via its website, Mr. Page didn't express much interest in opening retail stores whenever the possibility was discussed, said a person with knowledge of the matter. Yet Google's expansion beyond Web services and software into mobile hardware makes a move into retail seem more logical.
So what would Google's site location strategy be? One possible solution is to follow the "golden arches" approach used by Burger King and other fast food retailers who relied on McDonald's deep pockets to do detailed demographic analysis to find good locations and then they followed MickeyD's into the nearby parcels. So, why wouldn't Google head toward locations where Apple has had success because the same clientele would be nearby.
About twelve years ago, I worked for a company that was helping Apple determine a sound site selection strategy. It seems to have paid off for Apple. Here are also some "fun facts
" and its own maps that Apple uses to describe its retail presences.
Below, find a map of Apple's current store locations in the U.S. Let's see if Google leverages some of the research Apple's already invested in site analysis.