Google and fellow tech giants move into shopping malls

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Posted December 20, 2013

The glowing winter wonderland inside the mall here, adorned with fake snow and pulsing with electronic music, beckons weary holiday shoppers. But there’s no Santa, and no elves; instead, tablets and laptops are the lure of Google Inc.’s high-tech holiday display.

Google and other leading tech giants – Amazon.com Inc., SAP AG, Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. – are opening retail pop-up stores, stores-within-stores, mall kiosks and showrooms, even outfitting tour buses with their latest gadgets, to ramp up sales during the crucial holiday shopping season. Inspired and challenged by Apple’s successful retail stores, the companies hope to convert tech-skeptical consumers into gadget buyers by letting them swipe, type and tinker with the new technology, experts say.

Not every sale, these companies are learning, can be made online.

“They have to be where the public goes and frequents, and that’s the mall,” said David Johnson, chief executive officer of Strategic Vision, a Georgia-based branding firm. “Your tech geeks are going to order online. But before you’re going to see mass consumption, people are going to want to touch the products.”

As more big tech companies add consumer gadgets to their product lineup and compete with Apple, which has an ever-growing footprint of flourishing stores, they’ll also add more pop-up displays to show off those gadgets, allowing consumers to interact with tech in a personal way, experts say.

Read more at: Phys.org



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