Nokia shutters flagship Regent Street store in face of Apple retail’s domination

Apple Sale“Nokia is to shut the doors on its high-tech store in London’s Regent Street after failing to tempt consumers out of the bustling Apple store across the road with interactive translucent walls and a glitzy lounge area,” Nic Fildes reports for The Times.

“The contrasting fortunes of the rival stores reflects the current standing of the two parent companies in the consumer market. The closure of the flagship store is a symbolic defeat for Nokia which has lost ground on its Californian rival in the race to sell smart-phones in the UK as handsets such as N97 have failed to match the success of the iPhone,” Fildes reports.

MacDailyNews Take: “Nokia’s N97 failed to match the success of the iPhone.” There’s a nominee for The Understatement of the Month Award.

Fildes continues, “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.'”

MacDailyNews Take: That would be because Nokia’s future is all about decline, while Apple’s is all about virtually unlimited promise. This is what happens when you sit around churning out candybar phones with “features” that are largely unusable due in no small part to indecipherable user interfaces while another company works their tails off to totally reinvent and revolutionize the market that you thought you owned. Nokia’s malaise simply has no chance against Apple’s innovation machine. Bloodbath.

Fildes continues, “Poor footfall and anaemic sales at the [£4 million] store are cited as reasons to close the outlet which has been struggling for some time. Nokia closed the top floor of the 8,290 square foot outlet in June… It follows the recent closure of Sony Ericsson’s flagship store in Kensington High Street.”

Fildes reports, “Given the revival of the Regent Street shopping district it is expected that Crown Estates, the landlord, will have little trouble attracting a new tenant.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, who revived Regent Street? Apple. “Retail experts say the arrival of Apple – where takings are a remarkable £60 million a year – acted as a catalyst that allowed Regent Street to throw off its spinsterish image as Oxford Street’s tartan clad maiden aunt,” Jonathan Prynn and Mark Prigg reported for The Evening Standard on Nov. 23rd. “The glass-fronted 28,000 sq ft store opened on 20 November 2004 by Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs, now generates sales of £2,000 sq ft, almost three times more than Harrods, making it London’s most profitable store. The ‘Apple effect’ has also had a dramatic impact on rents, which have risen around 25 percent since then compared with 0 to 10 percent in the West End as a whole.” Full article, “Apple Store Regent Street is London’s most profitable store; generates 3 times Harrods’ sales,” here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

27 Comments

  1. “The question in why that strategy has worked for one company and not for the other.

    “MacDailyNews Take: That would be because Nokia’s future is all about decline, while Apple’s is all about virtually unlimited promise.”

    @MDN
    You make it sound like the current success behind Apple is a model that can be copied. I disagree with that notion to various degrees.

    In my opinion, few outside the top executives of Apple realise and ‘understand’ the mad appreciation of their products by their ardent fans. If you are a competing or just a different company, it isn’t something you should expect to just waltz right in and command by glitz and dance routine alone.

    SJ understands this well, look up his ’97 presentation of the outline for the future. He recognised fans as one of the core strengths of Apple.

    Nokia and the rest can try as best as they can, but until they have that connection with their users and ‘fans,’ their brand loyalty should not be expected to afford a similar plane with that of Apple’s.

  2. Maybe Nokia misplaced “Apple” when it said that “Apple” would be a small and less important part of the future of mobile phone sells.

    Perhaps it should have been “Nokia” placed where “Apple” is in there article. You close the store you developed to blast Apple across the street, only to find that Nokia engaged a 25 century fight.

    Blasted out of the third dimension. Ouch!

  3. As far as my administration skill goes, I learned that copy the leader’s strategy is the worst strategy any company could make.

    Instead try to offer something different that could create option of choice to costumers, you will only be tagged as a copy cat, that of course will just point the attention to the original, hence marketing him.

    no?

  4. Nokia hasn’t a chance in Hell of re creating Apples loyal fanbase. They are all about average, cheap and basic products and it would need a miracle for that image to change to something that awes the public. Even Sony can’t do it these days and they were arguably top of the pile at one stage. Now they are just a pile of …

  5. @krquet,
    “Nokia and the rest can try as best as they can, but until they have that connection with their users and ‘fans,’ their brand loyalty should not be expected to afford a similar plane with that of Apple’s.”

    See, you get it wrong too. Its not “fans” like football fans that make Apple great…… its great products. Anyone can be a fan of a great product and if Apple stops making great products, we will go elsewhere.

    So, yes its easy to follow Apples lead……. but most businesses do not care about the customer…. so they fail from the very first moment.

    Just a thought,
    en

  6. What analyst and competitors miss all the time is that it is not the single products, the good design, etc. It’s the whole widget. And by that I mean everything that Apple does: hardware, software, ease of use, customer service, accessibility, stores where you want to spend time, extreme generosity in keeping customers happy, and vision.

  7. Good take MDN. Again, to fully understand how Apple turned Nokia, Blackberry, Ericson and motorola’s world upside , watch the video of Jobs introducing the iPhone, and look at what the “state of the art” was before compared to now. iPhone is easily as groundbreaking a product as Mac was IMHO.

  8. @en
    see, ElderNorm, this is why you are not the same type of fan that a few of us are, apparently football fans of long lasting loyalty even in the dark decade like the 90s.

    I have supported Apple throughout the late 80s and 90s with whatever that I could afford, and even now when they may not need me any longer. And I have a feeling, there have been a few of us like that that more than cushioned Apple in those days. New fans like you are now replacing us, that see what we saw a decade earlier, but without that sense of loyalty that only stems from saving a ideal (or a company) that you care for. Nothing wrong with that, but on a similar token, I feel, it maybe too early to dismiss the likes of us as non-factors as well.

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