Breaking news: Nokia closing two Flagship stores in New York and Chicago, refocusing on carriers and partners

Breaking: Nokia closing two Flagship stores in New York and ChicagoWe heard the news this week that Nokia was going to close the UK Regent Street Flagship store because it just cost too much to keep running. We now hear that Nokia will be closing the Chicago and New York Flagship stores as well, in an effort to align their global marketing strategy. I haven’t ever had the chance to visit a store, but it still seems a bit sad that they are going away. Hopefully Nokia will reinvest the money they would spend on the stores into a coherent North American marketing strategy.

I don’t know how well the stores did and how much impact they had on people buying Nokia devices, but with only two cities covered I can’t imagine that they had that much of an impact on device sales. From what I heard of those who visited the stores, they would use the stores to test out devices and then go home and buy the device they wanted online through Amazon, Newegg, Dell or even the Nokia USA store. However, the stores did have an impact on increasing consumer awareness and now people will now have to come visit me and try out the devices before they buy them :)

The Flagship stores opened in 2006 in the U.S. and were created to educate consumers on the Nokia brand. In today’s Internet-focused world we here at Nokia Experts and at other online sites can continue to help with that brand awareness. Keep in mind that Nokia remains committed to providing potential customers with a retail experience through carriers and through other retail outlets as well.

I am sorry to hear of the closures, but in these economic times it makes sense and is really not that surprising. My only fear is that the impression of closing the stores leaves people feeling that Nokia is shutting out the US market. Granted, the announced the UK closure first so maybe I am just being overly sensitive.

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47 Comments to Breaking news: Nokia closing two Flagship stores in New York and Chicago, refocusing on carriers and partners

Crazyphoneguy
December 9, 2009

The Nokia Flagship store in NYC was a special space. They generously allowed us to use their space for our monthly S60 users meetup. Staff was always generous and patient in explaining things to me. Prices were high though – I paid $699 + for my brand new white N97, but because of all the time I spent in the store I didn’t mind. It probably makes sense economically to close the stores for the reasons cited in your article, but I will miss the store. It was a beautiful and special space for Nokia enthusiasts living and visiting NYC.

stephen
December 9, 2009

my thought is that they will be opening OVI stores to promote their new branding and apps. just my thought

Matthew Miller
December 9, 2009

Crazyphoneguy, I am sorry the location will be leaving you without a central location to show off the latest and greatest. Maybe Nokia can initiate a program where enthusiasts like us hold hands-on events on a volunteer basis around the country to try to reach and educate more people.

Wish I could have visited a store and seen what they are all about before they closed.

Joe
December 9, 2009

Font on third paragraph is off. =)

Texrat
December 9, 2009

This just seems crazy. The value of these stores was in mindshare creation, not profit from devices sold directly through them.

I can’t see webshops and carriers filling this gap… and I’ll bet you Apple keeps theirs open and continues making money in defiance of these tough economic times.

Matthew Miller
December 9, 2009

Apple sells a WHOLE lot more than just iPhones at its stores though. Could Apple keep a retail presence running just with the iPhone? Where are the Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Palm, and Google Android stores? Maybe Nokia is trying to get people to stop thinking of them as extremely high priced smartphones and trying to get everyone to understand the initial price is not the factor you should be focusing on when making a smartphone decision.

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[...] think the retail channel basically said, “Close ‘em or no deal for you.” Source: Nokia Experts via [...]

[...] a week since I reported about Nokia closing their London Flagship Store and Matthew Miller from Nokia Experts has just become the bearer of even more bad news with a report saying that the New York and Chicago [...]

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[...] hasn’t officially confirmed the closing of its two US flagship stores, but the folks over at Nokia Experts say that this will happen – although an exact date wasn’t [...]

Milan
December 9, 2009

It’s a shame the stores are closing but if nokia uses this opportunity to better align themselves with better/more retail channels to get their devices in peoples hands to try out then I think they can improve upon sales and mindshare of unlocked devices in the US.

They already sell some unlocked phones at best buy (n96, e71 last time I checked) but these models are plastic dummy models which is unfortunate, and the staff there is worthless and wouldn’t be able to properly create a value propostion for unlocked devices.

I think a great opportunity would be to partner with Dell to showcase some nokia phones in their kiosks that they have setup across malls all over the US. Customers can play with the new devices and place their orders there as well having Dell ship the devices from their warehouses. This may not be feasible considering dells android phones and upcomming communications division they are starting, but it’s a thought nonetheless. I remember nokia used to have a kiosk in the up-scale mall in my area a few years ago. I got good traffic but they just showed off the phones and didn’t sell them which hurt them IMO. They didn’t have good salespeople there either which didn’t help.

Either way, they need to do something to get people to learn of their devices. Mobile geeks and tech heads know of them because we visit mobile/tech sites everyday but we’re also maybe 5% of the market place. Nokia needs to up their marketing campaigns and sales strategies. Bring back the mall kiosks, partner with other stores the radio shack if u have to. Give those sales people the proper training on the devices and create incentives for them to sell unlocked nokia devices. Aggresively market the added value unlocked phones bring to the table. Some more tmobile 3.5g band phones would be nice too to take advantage of their hspa+ network.

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Brett Q.
December 9, 2009

“Maybe Nokia can initiate a program where enthusiasts like us hold hands-on events on a volunteer basis around the country to try to reach and educate more people.”

I already know of a few people in the area that would host, and others that would attend. The core OS of Symbian is still very good. It would be nice to show off some of the tips and tricks that some of us know to show users the benefits.

Of course, showing a price breakdown of unlocked vs. carrier subsidized phones over 2 years could be good to show off too. I always get a kick out of podcasts like AAS pointing out how short-sighted us Americans are that want the phone cheaper up front even though we pay more…sometimes way more…over the course of our contract.

Wes
December 9, 2009

Really unfortunate. I just discovered the Nokia Store in NYC. Excellent staff and a beautiful space. They are very patient and knowledgeable.

Mike Maddaloni - @thehotiron
December 9, 2009

Where the Chicago store is one of the few non-chains on the “Magnificent” Mile, it wasn’t a store I frequented. It is a beautiful store and a place to get hands-on with devices and helpful advice, but with the outrageous taxes in Chicago, now 10.25%, it wasn’t worth it to buy there where you could get online for cheaper.

I have heard a lot about events out of the NYC store, I only once heard of a meetup here. Maybe I just wasn’t in the know? Anyway, I was a little disappointed when I went in the store in Helsinki and it felt just like the one in Chicago, except the Chicago store was long and narrow and the Helsinki store was “L” shaped. I was expecting more.

It would probably be worth it to spend more on social media and user groups and buzz marketing in cities rather than having the stores.

mp/m

[...] a week since I reported about Nokia closing their London Flagship Store and Matthew Miller from Nokia Experts has just become the bearer of even more bad news with a report saying that the New York and Chicago [...]

[...]  |  Nokia Experts  | Email this | Comments No tags for this [...]

[...] York and Chicago as a result of aligning Nokia’s global marketing strategy according to a post on Nokia Experts.nThe US Nokia Flagship Stores opened back in 2006 and were apparently created to educate customers [...]

[...] It wasn’t that long ago I reported on London’s Regent Street Nokia Flagship Store closing, and now Nokia has announced they are to close their flagship stores in both New York and Chicago as a result of aligning Nokia’s global marketing strategy according to a post on Nokia Experts. [...]

[...] el cierre de la tienda de Londres, parece que Nokia también va a cerrar dos de sus tiendas más importantes, ambas en EE.UU.. Se tratan de las tiendas de Chicago y de Nueva York, ambas abiertas en 2006 y que dejarán de dar [...]

[...] hasn’t officially confirmed the closing of its two US flagship stores, but the folks over at Nokia Experts say that this will happen – although an exact date wasn’t [...]

Don Harder
December 10, 2009

I am a big fan of the Nokia flagship here in Chicago and drooled over the N900 there. It’s a great store and my biggest fear was longevity. I tried to buy accessories there to counter the amount of time I spent there. They won’ t budge on pricing and in this world that’s tough.

I hope they can get carriers partnered sooner than later, and certainly before the flagship closes. There was that rumor of a no-interest, 24-month purchase plan on these high end phones once upon a time. It’s like a contract in a way, but without calling it a subsidy, it might be a great way to open, say, T-Mobile Premium for the rest of us who want an open mobile experience.

sigh Money is too much of everything.

[...] via |/_ Nokia Experts [...]

Darryl
December 11, 2009

Trouble with the U.S. market is that it’s a carrier-dominated place. The tail is wagging the dog. Even if Nokia partnered up with a carrier, the carrier would be calling the shots, and stripping away cool and intelligent Nokia features. They’ve already done this with the E71x, and what was leftover was a confusing mish-mosh that didn’t satisfy those who wanted a true Nokia experience and it wasn’t familiar enough to lure contract shoppers away from a Samsung, or LG, or whatever. (still dirt cheap at 50 bucks though).

Nokia’s strengths are excellent call clarity, elegant design, and excellent hardware engineering. Call clarity for any US phone is out the window — no one even expects a phone to have good voice quality anymore; it hasn’t been that way for years and customers are being conditioned to expect less and less (Look at the iPhone — voice quality is terrible). And voice quality is Nokia’s biggest trump card. They should play that up — market the hell out of it — How does your phone sound?? Remember the basics, people?? :)

Anyhow, too bad about the stores. Chicago’s was pretty cool. Glad I got to visit. May have to stop in again before it’s shuttered. Pics on the net of the store do not do it justice in person.

[...] 2. Two days later, Nokia announced that Chicago and NYC Flagship Stores would close. (link) [...]

[...] Nokia Closing US Flagship Stores [...]

[...] Nokia Closing US Flagship Stores [...]

[...] Nokia Closing US Flagship Stores [...]

Sayo
December 15, 2009

My apologies, I’m simply testing to be sure that the rather long comment I’m about to submit in another article is formatted correctly…

One. Two. Three. 1. Ok. 2. Yes. 3. Fine.

[...] it seems to have done little to sway prospective customers; Nokia has since announced that they’re closing their flagship retail stores in New York and [...]

mobiler
April 13, 2010

Thank you for the informations about this subject

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knomswrow
September 29, 2010

diseases from oral *** and kissing

[...] closures follow the decision to shutter a Nokia store in the UK. The rumor was reported by NokiaExperts.com, but Engadget got its hands on the official Nokia statement. Strangely enough, Nokia says it is [...]

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