Here Come the Meatspace Google Stores, Maybe


Apple has shown that a store can be both a way to sell products and a way to support those products with training and service. Google has few products to sell at retail, but might benefit from the ability to provide training and customer support in person.

Amazon could too for Kindle, but people might expect something akin to the JCPenney catalog outposts, which allow pickup of mail order merchandise and take returns, that still operate in some small towns.
I think the key thing is that they need to stock interesting products that people want to try out and then buy. Google Stores full of Google Glasses, Android phones and tablets, and eventually demonstrations of self-driving cars could very well draw plenty of customers, especially if located close enough to an Apple Store that a prospective smartphone buyer could try out both an iPhone and an Android phone before deciding which to buy.
Apple stores are configured just like computer stores were back in the ye olde days of computers. Like, say, Ballard Compter on Market back in the 80s and 90s (the Matador occupies that space today). Then companies like Dell and Circuit City put those boutique type computer stores out of business and Apple has brought the configuration back to life.

They function more like a car dealership and less like a bookstore. So that's what they resemble. I don't think the product per se has much of anything to do with their relative success. I use PCs and it would never even occur to me to go to a Microsoft store. I can order everything I need online and I don't have any questions.
@1: You mean like Amazon Locker?…