Nokia plans to open a “flagship store” in Chicago on June 21, according to an article in PC Magazine.
A second store will open in New York store around Fifth Avenue before the end of 2006. Typically U.S. consumers get phones through their carriers, but both stores will carry phones not available through those channels.
The Windy City location is particularly interesting, given Motorola, the largest handset maker in the U.S., is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illi., 30 minutes outside of Chicago. Nokia, the largest handset manufacturer in the world, is making its mission this year to beat out Motorola for the No. 1 spot here.
What better location to kick off the campaign than the competitor’s back yard?
According to the article, the stores will sell Nokia’s full North American product lines, including high-end phones like Nokia’s N93, N91, N73, and N80. For instance, the N93 is a camcorder/camera/phone/”multimedia computer” and will cost about $682 when it goes on sale in July.
Nokia may be opening up two new stores, but it already is holding down a kiosk near Macy’s at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. Although it doesn’t sell any merchandise there, the phones are on display to touch and feel.
A quick call to the kiosk found super friendly and well-informed employees to answer your questions. They said customers that visit the kiosk can place orders from the Nokia Web site from a computer there, but can’t actually buy anything directly. They also noted that they don’t have any of the new N-series phones on display yet.