On Friday, a report surfaced on 9to5Google that Google was making serious plans to open permanent retail locations, and it's been followed up today by the Wall Street Journal indicating the same thing. Both cite unnamed sources, who claim that the company wants to provide space for customers to try out its Nexus devices, software like the Chrome browser and unnamed upcoming products. The rumors differ slightly on potential timeframe, with the initial one suggesting we could see shops open by the holidays this year, while the WSJ indicates a wider timeframe with the possibility that stores may not launch this year at all. Google's already opened a few pop-up shop temporary locations at airports and in other stores, like the one pictured above in the UK.
As Google moves further into hardware the potential of Apple-style branded physical stores grows, whether just to sell the phones and tablets we've seen so far or alongside more secretive projects like that rumored "X Phone." Also, once moonshot attempts like Project Glass and self-driving cars hit, having trained retail staff for hands-on demos may be just what the doctor ordered for skeptics. There's no word on where these stores may appear of course, but if you spot any darkened storefronts in your local mall please drop a line in our tips inbox, along with its distance from the nearest Sbarro -- we hear Googlers loves Sbarro.