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I chose not to tick "Remember this location" and this could explain why my subsequent searches weren't locked to the postcode I typed (not my physical location). Anyway, the SERP looked almost identical to the default, so I am not sure what to expect. Perhaps the test is to see how many people use the option?
joined:Nov 11, 2000
Behavior is not consistent on single or multiple words, or on singulars and plurals, btw. Also to take the liberty of using specific examples, [hardware] doesn't return the location input field, nor does [hardware store] singular... but [hardware stores] plural does return the prompt and the input field (which then leads to map results).