Google Eyes Apple Stores and Considers Retail

Apple Inc. employees cheer as the doors open at the company's store in Sydney, Australia Photograph by Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

As malls close, big-box stores try to shrink, and the overall prospects of physical retail range from stagnant to apocalyptic, one sector of the market is enjoying an unlikely growth spurt: stores opened by the big technology companies. Apple has spawned about 400 Apple Stores in the last decade, Microsoft is opening new locations, and now—according to tech blog and news reports—Google is developing plans to open showrooms in the U.S. to highlight its devices running the Android and Chrome operating systems.

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