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Showcase Nokia store

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Mumbai
  • Published 4.09.07
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Mumbai, Sept. 4: Nokia will open a flagship store in either Mumbai or Delhi — it’s seventh in the world after Helsinki, New York, Chicago, Moscow, Hong Kong and Mexico City.

“We are still looking for the exact location but Mumbai and Delhi are definitely the cities where we will have our first stores. Among the two, I prefer Mumbai,” Cliff Crosbie, global director (retail marketing) told The Telegraph on the sidelines of the Indian Retail Forum which began here today.

The company’s image has been slightly sullied recently after a worldwide battery recall and sporadic reports of exploding cellphones.

Nokia is battling counterfeit and grey market operators and serious rivals such as Motorola to keep its grip on one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

The concept of the flagship store is one of the initiatives Nokia has taken to meet the challenge. It plans to establish another 18 such stores worldwide. At present, the company reaches out to its customers through a network of franchisee-run Nokia Priority stores.

Nokia also recently entered into a revised agreement with HCL Infosystems to split the distribution business. Under a new five-year agreement, both the companies will jointly distribute mobile handsets in the country.

The idea behind the flagship stores is to go beyond just a mobile phone into services.

“The flagship store is a whole concept, and it’s not just about furniture. The stores are more interactive where the customer will be encouraged to spend at least an hour or two. We at Nokia have realised that we need to move to the interactive space more now. The flagship stores will be a significant investment for the company,” he added.

The company has a concept store in Chennai which is owned by a Nokia partner. “The concept store in Chennai is exactly like the one we have in other parts of the world. They are our first point of interaction with customers directly.”

“We adapt the concept stores to the local needs,” he added. More such concept stores are expected to roll out in the country in the next few months. A flagship store is 300 to 400 square metres in size and has the same look and feel as the rest of the stores globally.