After deciding to close its store in London as we told you
in our News Bits this morning, Nokia turned its attention to the U.S. and has announced that it will follow suit with its flagship stores in Chicago and New York. The two stores will close in the beginning of 2010. Nokia feels that it can better invest the money by generating sales through carriers or online stores.-Additionally, the Finnish based manufacturer says that the stores have served their purpose by making the Nokia name more well known in the U.S. where 90% of phones are purchased through carriers. In the U.K., a high percentage of buyers go through third party retailers like Carphone Warehouse instead of buying from a carrier or a manufacturer.
Still, the bottom line is that the stores lost money for Nokia as the unsubsidized handsets up for sale in the price range of $500 or more had to compete with the carrier's subsidized handsets costing $200 or less, usually after a rebate. Ironically, both the Chicago and New York Nokia stores were walking distance from Apple's flagship stores in the same locations. Both Nokia stores had opened in 2006.