Although Nokia (NYSE: NOK) continues to struggle with its marketshare in the U.S., the company has decided to close down its retail stores in New York and Chicago — which had the goal of educating consumers about the brand.
The 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 closing its stores because “consumer awareness in the US has grown substantially,” and that it can rely on its retail network, including Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) and Best Buy. The statement after the jump…
“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.”