Nokia, the Finnish phone maker, is all set to roll out plans to renovate its retail strategy which also includes the closure of its flagship retail outlet on Regent Street, London.
The world's largest phone manufacturer has confirmed the news about the closing of the store to Pocket-Lint via email which said that "Nokia is crystallizing its branded retail strategy, aiming at improving operational efficiency of its retail network. This requires revamping of the retail network and, as a consequence, Nokia has plans to close Nokia Regent Street in Q1 2010".
Interestingly, the store which was opened back in February 2008 had cost the company £4 million and was ‘inspired’ by ‘the forests of Finland’. It was spread over 8,290 square feet and had translucent walls which were back-lit by LEDs.
Inside the store, which was the company's 8th flagship one, the walls had perimeter LCD screens which displayed synchronised audio-visual messages.
However, despite its innovative design, the store was unable to create enough interest which has resulted in slow sales and even poorer footfall, despite long queues seen during the launch of some new phones like the Nokia 5800.
Nokia apparently plans to close the store in Q1 of 2010 and the staff will be employed in other Nokia retail outlets. Under its new strategy, the seven remaining Nokia retail stores will be getting face-lifts including the one in Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.
Ironically, the Apple Store, a few yards from the Nokia Regent Street store, is experiencing phenomenal footfall and has been publicised as the Apple’s most profitable store on several occasions.
Ruthless competition with Apple means that it was financially suicidal for Nokia to continue keeping the flagship store opened. The Finnish company swallowed its pride and closed the store not only to save money but also the face since the Apple store, which is only a few meters away, is as popular as ever.