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Nokia To Close U.S. Flagship Stores

12/10/2009 11:56:42 AM Eastern

White Plains, N.Y.
- Nokia will close its only two flagship stores in the U.S. in early 2010 to focus on
sales of locked phones to carriers and unlocked phones to retailers and
distributors, the company announced.

The company operates one store in New York
and one in Chicago.
Both opened in 2006.

"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," a spokeswoman said. "As we continue to
expand our services and solutions offerings across these various channels, we
have decided to close the New York and Chicago stores to allow
more concentration on our other channels.

The 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," she added.

Globally, the company "is increasingly investing in its retail network," a
prepared statement said. "Nokia flagship stores are only one aspect of Nokia's
retail experience and marketplace strategy, which includes more than 1,000
Nokia-branded retail stores and their more than 650,000 retail outlets
globally."

The company also added that Nokia is working to "optimize its retail
approach according to various market and channel developments in the past few
years" and ensure "that we have a workable model that is appropriately in-line
with the strategy of each individual market. As a result, the company also
closed a flagship store in London,
England.

In the U.S.,
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," the spokeswoman added. Since then, she said,
Nokia's awareness "has grown substantially."

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