New York and Chicago lose Nokia stores
Flagship stores flagging
New York and Chicago are to follow London in losing their Nokia stores.
Nokia has confirmed that it's closing both stores, though apparently the US shops are closing because their mission is complete now that Americans know and love the Nokia brand.
The shops were clearly an attempt to ape Apple's stores, but Nokia handsets are almost exclusively sold through operators which left the shops with little to do. The role was to showcase Nokia as a hip brand, something the company claims it managed to do:
"Since opening the stores in NY and Chicago (2006), consumer awareness in the US has grown substantially. Weighing those dynamics with Nokia's clear strategy in North America, and our well-established retail channel with third parties, we will close these two stores (New York and Chicago) in early 2010."
Consumer awareness of Nokia in the US might have grown substantially, but it's still not very high; so really this is about curtailing one of the desperate initiatives instituted while the company was flailing in fear of Apple.
Nokia now has a strategy, and for better or worse it's one that doesn't include high-profile high-street stores. ®
Dead company walking
Nokia are dead, they just don't know it yet...
People don't buy unlocked phones
Stores like this will always have a problem because relatively few people ever buy unlocked phones - they have no network subsidy either as PAYG or contract.
Roll on the closures
Perhaps they'll close the store in Hong Kong too. I walk past it on my way to and from work, and I have yet to see more customers than staff, and if you go there with a broken Nokia phone, they tell you to go away.