The Times Online reports that Nokia has decided to shut down its eye-catching retail store on Regent Street in London due to lackluster sales.
Ben Wood, an analyst with CCS Insight, said: “There was no question that the store was trying to replicate what Apple had done and build up the brand rather than shift devices. The question in why that strategy has worked for one company and not for the other.”
Nokia may be trying to emulate Apple’s chain of retail stores, but having been to a few Nokia stores myself, I can attest that they’re by and large not anywhere close to capturing the user experience that Apple has seemingly perfected. The Times notes that Nokia tried to spruce up the Regent St. store with “interactive translucent walls and a glitzy lounge area”, features that sound more like superficial gimmicks than anything else. What Nokia apparently didn’t realize is that a fancy store doesn’t sell the product, but rather that it’s an impressive array of products that make it possible for a store to succeed
John Gruber over at DaringFireball sums things up nicely when he says,
The success of Apple’s retail stores isn’t based on any sort of tricks or upon the design of the stores themselves. The stores are well-designed, and they do use clever tricks to make them even better, but the foundation is the products. No gadget company can duplicate the success of the Apple Stores without products of similar caliber. Duh.