Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is to open a flagship retail store in London in a joint venture with Carphone Warehouse. The Regent Street store will be “a cross between the Levi’s store and Nike Town”, says Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone.
Due to open in late September, it will be the first time a mobile manufacturer has opened a retail outlet to sell direct to the public.
Dunstone says Nokia “is walking a tightrope” trying not to upset its customer base – the other mobile phones retailers – by using Carphone Warehouse to sell through its own store.
The store will be owned and run by Carphone Warehouse, but branded Nokia. It will stock only Nokia products, but will sell access to all the mobile network operators.
Nokia Mobile Phones UK & Ireland head of marketing, Alison Brolls, says: “The store will act as a test bed for innovations, services and products.”
Brolls says the London store will be the first retail venture which Nokia hopes to roll out in other European cities. She says there are no plans at present to roll out the concept within the UK.
Nokia launches its chrome-look phone, the 8810, on August 14, and the latest in its Communicator range with e-mail and fax capability, the 9110, later this year.