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I just heard an interesting rumor. Supposedly Google is renting 6,000 square feet inside every +Best Buy next  year. Why? My source says it's to sell +Google Glass.

Now, this is a rumor. If I was a journalist working for, say, Techcrunch, I'd call around and see if I can verify this rumor. But I would rather let this hang out here and see if someone like +Kara Swisher knows anything.

This makes sense, since you really need to try Glass before buying it to see if it's for you and you also need to have it fitted to your face (and, if you are like me and need prescription lenses you'll need all that taken care of too before you can order yours).

Anyone from Google want to verify this? +Vic Gundotra or +Steve Lee ?
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Paul Newport's profile photoMike Boysen's profile photoBradley Shaw's profile photoFred Davis's profile photo
83 comments
 
Now that would be awesome!
 
It's not just Glass it will be a bunch of their products. Their laptops and cell phones and tablets
 
+Robert Scoble - Interesting, I remember we all were speculating they'd be selling them in their own unannounced google stores by then.

Wouldn't be surprised with the support they've given to Best Buy for #chromecast  even if it's not exclusive. Probably would be a similiar roll-out.
 
Come on guys...I become crazy waiting for this!!!!!!!!
 
Would make sense to have equivalent to in-store Apple store. To sell Nexus devices mostly. And Chromebooks.
 
I don't know about the size. Most best buys don't have 6000 square feet to spare. 
Bryce C
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My local best buy uses about 10 square feet for Chromebooks and Nexus and devices.
 
It makes sense to use existing stores rather than making their own because they can scale much more quickly.
 
That's too much space for one device - I assure you the space isn't going to come free.   Either they are going to put in full Google stores, or this rumor is wrong IMHO.
 
Hmmm the 6,000 square feet is suspect.
 
I understand that but 6000 I don't know. 
 
Aren't Best Buys about 6000 Sq ft in total? 
 
With Apple, Samsung and now Google mini stores, Best Buy is on it's way to becoming a miniature try before you buy (online) tech mall.
 
We are always talking about Best Buy's ever changing retail strategies on RetailWire and store within store, like the Samsung Experience shops, is a growing trend. I don't like to see the leaders in tech all lined up at BB though. Hope Google goes for something more unique and innovative. Stand alone. Better than Apple. 
 
Does 6k sq ft include storage of products? It's most likely all Google devices.
 
Unless the price is going to be real accessible for people I don't see that much space being used for it.
 
Considering that Google wants to improve its retail presence - this makes total sense.
 
I doubt they would snatch up all that space for GLASS. I am sure it will be a range of products and perhaps GLASS in the future. Since they already have products that have proven to be successful, I think they would start with those products rather than GLASS. That being said I would really like to see a Chromebook Pixel in person.
 
Would Glass have enough product volume to warrant any space at a brick and mortar retailer? I can't think they'd be turning many over at $1500/unit.
 
Everyone, 6000ft TOTAL across every store, not just one. So day.. 10ft of space in a store and 20ft in another, etc.
 
Well played... I'm all for letting things like this hang out there.
 
+Erin Peterson the retail versions are not going to cost $1500, they are rumored to be around $3-400.
 
@Marc Wenning Well that's certainly more reasonable. I should start saving my pennies now. 
 
6000 sq ft? Isn't that the same size as Microsoft is occupying in the store? I'd put it there. Microsoft's store won't last that long anyway ;-)
 
+Robert Scoble  Thanks for the news. This is very exciting news for me as my goal is now to have GPOP in every BestBuy!
 
I totally see Google renting space as part of Best Buy's growing store-within-a-store program (see Samsung, Microsoft and of course, Apple http://mashable.com/2013/04/04/best-buy-samsung-experience-shop/), but 6,000 square feet is far too large.

I was at one of the big concept stores in Dallas where Samsung unveiled their store-within-a-store concept and it was one of Best Buy's larger stores (there are different floor plans for stores, this was one of the biggest floor plans) and it was 460 square feet. Not bad at all -- and larger than the Apple section.

600 feet in the largest stores -- maybe 350-400 in smaller stores, I can see. 6,000 -- no. That's like as big as the entire TV department at some of those big stores. It wouldn't make sense to lease that much space. The largest floor plan is 45,000 square feet -- and there are 20,000 and 30,000 square foot stores too. You'd be talking about 1/8 of a big store and nearly 1/3 of the smallest stores...that's just not going to happen.

600 square feet for Google stuff (Nexus tablets and phones and Google Glass), yah, that I definitely believe.
 
Oh -- standard disclosure -- I was a Best Buy employee from 2000-2005.
 
60 ft x 100 ft, e.g., is much smaller than an entire Best Buy. According to Wikipedia, big box stores occupy 50,000 up to 200,000 square feet. 
 
That's a lot of glass. Google should open there own stores
 
6000 square feet is around 25 yards by 25 yards. So it's large, but not huge. 
 
The square feet might be off, my source heard it from someone else. But he said that Google was planning something "dramatic." We'll see if this rumor has any truth to it next year. 
 
6000 sq. ft. seems a bit off to me; that's about 25% of the average store's actual showroom.
 
+Marc Wenning The $300 price point rumor came from one "researcher" and now everyone is quoting it. I honestly doubt it'll be that cheap.
 
a little more than "off".. that's more like "unreal".. a manufacturer renting space inside a store is not a breakthrough story. #overyhype  
P Brown
 
Maybe it's enough room to do some virtual reality!!!!
 
I think its SUPER interesting +1 for selling via Best Buy :P
 
That would be cool. Maybe it could be their way of getting more "Google" stores out there in the market faster.
 
I think it will be more to sell nexus devices. I dont think this is really going to be about google glasses although im sure they will some there as well. I still think the main idea will be to sell nexus devices
 
Average Best Buy store is 28,000 sq ft. I suspect an extra zero was added somewhere in the rumor mill.
 
+Heinz Seijas Google Glass requires sit down space, though, for you to try them on and get trained on how they work. When I visited Google they had quite a large room to meet with groups of people at one time. It took me almost an hour to get fitted and trained and all that. So, gotta have space for you to sit down and feel comfortable.
 
+Dan Leveille well, the cost of goods is somewhere around $150 to build a Google Glass, which is where the $300 price point is coming from. If this Best Buy rumor is right, that has quite a bit of overhead. So, a $400 or $500 price point is probably closer to the truth since retail always takes about 30% of the original sales price and Google wants to cover its R&D costs, too, I'm sure.
 
I am 100% positive that this will be a retail presence for all Google products... their answer, of sorts, to the over 400 Apple stores, which are among the world's highest grossing retail stores. Google has a HUGE lack or retail presence. This deal with BestBuy sure sounds like a (way weaker than Apple's) strategy for gaining a foothold in the retail marketplace.
 
Best Buy has already created space for Samsung, Microsoft,and Apple. It makes since that there would be space for Google also. Best Buy is losing customers. They need to rent this space out to help pay lease and salaries. It also gets people into the store. Much like a convenience store selling gas. If you come in for the gas, you are more likely to buy something else. 
 
Straight out of Samsung's strategy book
Bryce C
 
My local Best Buy surprisingly has a section fir the HTC One which I was proud of. Before it had HTC with everyone else and Samsung had a special section.
 
+Tim Wallace You're right, Best Buy is desperate and they need the $... and Google can afford a lot, so I bet it's prime space that nudges the other store-in-a-stores back a few feet. As +Robert Scoble pointed out, you really do need a fitting for Glass, so a place to do that is very important... but so is a place to showcase everything Google in one place. Google can't open 400+ stores overnight to compete with Apple, so buying into Best Buy, with 1,000+ stores, gives Google a very fast way to have a very big retail footprint.
 
+Robert Scoble true. Shouldnt they do this at local glass stores as well. Like for example lenscrafters?
 
I agree 100% +Fred Davis . I hope this isn't just a rumor. I have been wanting a +Google store for a long time. And I actually love Best Buy... mainly because of all the tech that is available. Their employee service is less than to be desired. They never have enough employees to help the customers that they have. Hopefully these employees will be trained by the "Store" in the store and we will get better service from them.
 
6,000' is way too large for this deployment. I ran a 5,000' retail space and it was massive. I suspect that 6,000' is about the size of BBs TV space which is substantial. The Apple dedicated space in BB is probably 400'.
I like the idea of having a place to demo Google products but I doubt it will be that large a space unless they plan to demo their self driving car.
 
+Robert Scoble I'm going to have to call my HR Department and see if this is covered in my vision plan. I'd like to see this in a progressive, scratch-resistant lens, with glare proofing. 
 
The "store in a store" concept is not new. Apple has sections within Best Buy, Microsoft is getting ready to add some of their own, and when Ron Johnson took over at JC Penney, he pretty much bet the farm on that concept. I doubt it's JUST for Google Glass, but Google is running into the same problem as Microsoft to some extent. Google makes relatively little hardware themselves and has almost no retail business. But their hardware and retail partners are often letting them down. In the battle for hearts and minds of smartphone users, Apple's retail experience is widely considered to be much better than that of trying to purchase an Android device from a carrier or big box store. So Google is out to remedy that with staff and floorspace to show of the best Google has to offer. 
 
6,000? I'm sure Google can go over 9,000!!!
 
I'm not sure about the 6,000 square feet number, and neither is Robert... but I do think it will be something on that order which would definitely make it something "dramatic" as Robert said. They really do need a lot of square footage to include the various demo stations for phones, tablets, Chromecast, Google TV, etc, and for the Glass fitting stations. Let's face it, Best Buy is desperate to make their store-within-a-store thing work, and Google can afford as much square footage as they want! Sounds like a real win-win for both companies, so it makes a lot of sense that it is true, or very close to it.
 
6,000 square feet? Holy cow why would they need that much space?
 
That's quite a large space to only sell Google Glass....maybe other consumer goods are in the pipeline...
 
Many of my local Best Buys have just added a Windows 8 Store within their store. They also have an Apple Store within their store as well as a Samsung Store. Now they are going to add a 4th store within a store for Google. Oh and lets not forget the cell phone store(s) within a store.

Pretty soon there will be no space left for anything else and Best Buy will have mutated into a small mall full of other little stores.
 
+Randy Hudson which, without derailing the entire thread, is exactly the point. BBY has struggled for years, in large part because the biggest part of their stores used to be dedicated to media (music, games, software, movies) and that is now increasingly digital. Why not rent out your showroom space to let vendors offer a better in-store experience and potentially better support/selection. It's actually a return to the original big box model, the classic department store (Woolworth's, Macy's, Rich's, Penney's, etc). Even today that remains true for certain department stores. The Bloomingdales on 60th and Lex has a bunch of specific shop-within-a-shop sections. Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, BCBG and Kate Spade all have boutiques within the second and third floors, just as an example.

Now back on topic, as +Robert Scoble said, for Glass, you need a one-on-one type of setup experience. When I went to a fitting, it was more akin to buying a car than buying a gadget. Apple does a great job of making the buying experience special -- this reminded me of that. Users need to be given instructions on setting stuff up, giving commands, etc.

Plus, I think luxury buying experience makes the price that much more acceptable. I've long maintained that if they can even get to a $1000 price point, this thing will fly off shelves.

Ironically I was talking to my ophthalmologist about Glass on Monday while doing my annual eye appointment and he's even more bullish than me! He's one of the top-rated eye surgeons in Atlanta (and really the entire Southeast - he pioneered a bunch of stuff with cataract surgeries and RK and then laser) and he can't wait for Glass. Given all the talk from armchairs about the resulting eye strain, I was interested in his take and be was really excited. Heck, I should probably push and see if I can get him in the Exploerer program! 
 
Absolutely +Christina Warren, I love the idea of Best Buy becoming a showroom where I can get a fully immersive demonstration of my next gadget before I buy it on amazon.com sight unseen.
 
+Robert Scoble its funny that you think journalists, especially +TechCrunch research anything before they post. Truth or fiction, it brings people to the site to see ads and comment. If it turns out to be false, then they can do a second article. And when it is confirmed, they can do a second article.
 
+Chris Cooling I've never seen one the size of a Home Depot. I think we're talking about +Best Buy and a 60x100 swath through the ones I've been too would be about half the store (ish)
 
+Mike Boysen what part of the country are you in? Best Buys may vary greatly in size. the average Best Buy is 37,000 sq ft. my little Blockbuster store was 5,000
 
In my local favorite Best Buy I'm going to estimate that their Samsung Store within a store is probably around 1000-1500 square feet. I'm guessing the Google Store would not be much larger than that.
 
stock chart says ... true !!!
 
+Robert Scoble I could see this being not just for Glass, but also for Chromebooks, Chromecast, Nexus devices, who knows, maybe even the rumored refresh of Google TV.
 
Im betting it will promote all google products
 
Google Glass PR let me know that my rumors are not correct. I guess we'll have to wait to see distribution plans.
 
+Robert Scoble Will they need that space because they will be doing custom fittings in Best Buy or are they going to simply toss a blister-pack at buyers and wish them the best?
 
+Robert Scoble  you set off these little media firestorms. I love it. I would prefer to see Google stores selling Google with little "Androids" walking around to help you. 10% Opensource goodness (some board that runs android and teaches kids how to program), 10% Chromebooks, 10% Android @home and the rest Android devices et phones, tablets, watches, google TV, and Glass
 
This might be a test to see if a Google free standing store would work. 
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