The world's biggest phone manufacturer, Nokia, has announced that it will close its New York and Chicaco flagship stores days after it revealed that it would also shut its London-based Regent Street store, less than two years after it was launched.
The stores opened up in 2006 and it is unlikely that their closure will have any significant impact on Nokia sales in the US; admittedly, they were useful to "educate" users and potential customers but then, how far can this go when all you sell is mobile phones and smartphones.
Users will ultimately need to go online if they need to experience the latest and brightest Nokia mobile phones. It announced the closure of its London store citing the need to "crystallizing its branded retail strategy, aiming at improving operational efficiency of its retail network."
As for the US closures, well, there's another reason for that; apparently, “the Flagship stores were originally conceived to inspire and educate consumers to the benefits of mobility through an innovative retail experience, and to broaden the appeal of the Nokia brand… consumer awareness in the U.S. has grown substantially.”
Nokia's share of the US mobile phone market is relatively small - around one in every ten mobile phones sold there - while that proportion grows to two in every five phones worldwide.
Nokia is not Apple and the recent events have proved it; Apple's stores are largely successful because of Apple's aura combined with the fact that you find more than just phones in these stores. Nokia is almost certainly closing the stores because they failed to generate reasonable ROI.