Nokia Pulls Plug on Shanghai Store

Published on April 5, 2013
by John Paczkowski

Nokia_shanghaiNokia’s retail store retreat continued this week with another big store closure. The struggling handset maker shuttered its flagship store in Shanghai, China, at the end of March as part of an effort to refocus its sales strategy.

“For a while now, Nokia has been focusing on growing its presence in operator and third-party retail outlets, rather than through our own physical stores,” a Nokia spokesman told AllThingsD. “We are, of course, also continuously beefing up our online presence. With this in mind, our store in Shanghai was closed on March 31.”

The shuttering of the Shanghai store — Nokia’s largest — follows a massive retail withdrawal that has seen a number of closures around the world, including the felling of the company’s Finnish-forest-themed flagship store on London’s Regent Street. Where once it had a dozen stores around the globe, Nokia now has just one — its recently remodeled outlet in Helsinki, Finland.

The closure of Nokia’s Shanghai store — which, when it was opened, was the seventh of 18 planned flagship outlets — is one more indicator of the global malaise from which the company suffers. China is a market crucial to Nokia’s successful turnaround; closing up shop in Shanghai is a tacit admission that the store never attracted the sort of foot traffic for which Nokia had hoped. Certainly, it didn’t do much to sustain Nokia’s business in China. The company saw revenue from Greater China plummet a gruesome 79 percent in the fourth quarter.

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