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Google rumoured to follow in Apple's footsteps by launching retail stores

Google has plans to expand its business into the real world and open a retail store in the US before the holiday season this year, according to 9to5Google.

According to the report, which cites "an extremely reliable source," the new store will be the first in a chain of many such flagship stores across the United States, giving Google a place to show off its growing number of hardware products. The company has been displaying an increasing focus on hardware within the last couple of years, starting with the Nexus line of Android-powered devices introduced back in January 2010.

The move, if true, could prove to be a boon for Google, by allowing customers to get a feel for the company's products before buying them. The search giant is reportedly keen on getting Google Glass into the hands of prospective customers.

The model has been very successful for competitors like Microsoft and Apple, whose retail channel is a hallmark of its brand.

Google has declined to comment on the matter, so the accuracy of the report remains to be seen.

Image Credit: Flickr (osde-info)