Tech giants have invaded the mall like a pack of brain-starved zombies.
First it was Apple (NAS: AAPL) , and its success speaks for itself. It's the star attraction -- in terms of both customers and sales per square foot -- of any suburban shopping hub.
Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) followed suit in 2009. It didn't seem as if the software giant would be able to pull it off, but there are now more than a dozen Microsoft Store locations throughout the country, and more are on the way.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced of Amazon.com (Nasdsaq: AMZN) opening a physical store in its home city of Seattle. The leading online retailer would offer up Kindle products and books from its Amazon Publishing line.
Each move may have been greeted with initial skepticism, but Apple and Microsoft have made it work. Amazon should also fare well, especially by debuting its boutique where it's already a hometown hero.
However, Bloomberg has unearthed an application filed in November by Google (NAS: GOOG) detailing plans and modifications for the company's Irish headquarters in Dublin. Along with a request for a swimming pool -- really, an employee swimming pool -- the filing discusses a "Google Store selling Google merchandise" that is already permitted under the current scheme.
The store would be open to the public, unlike the Google merchandise retail area it now has in California.
Now, there's obviously no reason to read too much into this. Google isn't rushing out to the mall the way that Apple and Microsoft did and Amazon probably will. We're probably talking more along the lines of the branded products that Big G fans can already buy through GoogleStore.com. If you've ever wanted an Android cookie jar, Chrome coaster, or YouTube director's chair, you can get two of the three items there. I won't tell you which one I made up just to fuel your sense of discovery and add an extra layer of mystery to the relationship between us.
At the very least, the store's presence will draw attention to Google as a major Irish employer of 3,000 people in the floors above the store.
Google is certainly a global company these days, and that opinion may register in more ways than one if Google Store becomes a bricks-and-mortar reality.
Out of the pool
"Google Store" may not send shivers down Microsoft's spine, but do you know the two words that Bill Gates doesn't want to hear? Stumped? A timely report has the answer. It's free, but only for a limited time so check it out now.
At the time thisarticle was published Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't afraid of water. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, Amazon.com, and Microsoft.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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