Nokia is expected to begin work imminently on remodelling its flagship store on Regent Street, less than 18 months after its high-profile opening.
The 8,290 sq ft store welcomed its first shoppers in February last year and is the mobile phone manufacturer’s largest, containing a host of interactive features as well as reactive walls that were intended to change their appearance as shoppers played with the handsets.
However, by Christmas the first floor had been closed and shoppers could only visit the ground floor.
Retail Week has learnt that Nokia has been in talks with design consultancies about how to upgrade its first-floor environment and improve the experience for its shoppers.
No reason has been given for the decision to close the first floor, but the shop frequently lacked footfall, particularly when compared with the hi-tech, minimalist Apple flagship across the street. Since the beginning of the year the space, which included an area dubbed “Explore” for shoppers to attend tutorials on how to use Nokia phones, has been redundant.
Nokia is believed to have spent close to £4m creating the London flagship and one of the most expensive features is the glass and steel lift, which occupies a large portion of the store. A design source said the lift represents a major problem for Nokia, as it prevents shoppers from seeing the offer and acts as a barrier for those heading for the store’s deeper reaches.
The Nokia flagship appears to be suffering from the same lack of shoppers that is rumoured to have affected the Sony Ericsson standalone store on Kensington High Street, which opened in November 2006.
No comment was available from Nokia as Retail Week went to press.