Shortly after the announcement that Nokia was closing its London flagship store, word is coming in that the manufacturer will close it's US-based flagship stores in New York City and Chicago. The stores were opened in 2006 as a way to promote the Finnish manufacturer's brand. In recent years and as part of a redefined strategy, their devices have been found for cheaper prices through carriers and online merchants. The official Nokia USA statement is as follows:
In North America, over 90 percent of consumer purchases are made through carriers - Nokia continues to support our relationship with carriers in this market, as well as the continued expansion of our retail partner network with the likes of Amazon and Best Buy (for example), in line with our strategy. As we continue to expand our services and solutions offerings across these various channels, we have decided to close the NY and Chicago stores to allow more concentration on our other channels.
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. Since opening the stores in NY and Chicago (2006), consumer awareness in the U.S. 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.
This decision was made to create clear alignment with our local market strategy and, in addition, as part of a global realignment of our retail strategy in overall.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts - if you were in charge of Nokia's marketing department, what would you do to ensure that the manufacturer gets a reasonable level of coverage?