Nokia has reported a ‘significant uplift’ in sales of Lumia 800 phones after introducing a new demonstration stand in an east London shopping centre. The company is expected to roll out the stands across the country from early next year.
The manufacturer is testing the pilot stand, known as The Nokia Arch, at the Westfield Stratford shopping centre next to the London 2012 Olympic Park. If it proves successful, Nokia will launch
a rollout in the New Year.
Speaking to Mobile, Nokia’s head of retail James Kitto said early results were promising with ‘a significant uplift’ in like-for-like sales of Lumia 800 phones compared to similar shopping centres across the country. He added: ‘We will review the results of this pilot and take the lessons from that for a potential rollout next year.’
Kitto said the Nokia Arch rollout programme would concentrate on ‘a typical high footfall, high density, shopping mall environment’.
The move marks Nokia’s continuing withdrawal from traditional retail, which saw the last of its Nokia-branded franchised stores close down earlier this year. Kitto said: ‘We no longer have an own-store strategy. Our approach is to support our market partners to drive the success of the Nokia range of handsets, but we will continue to ensure we engage all UK consumers across the range.’
The pilot Nokia Arch has up to eight staff, described by Kitto as ‘youthful, energetic and highly motivated brand advocates’. It is stocked with live devices and two giant touch-screens. Staff offer a comprehensive demo service and will help customers set up their Lumia 800 handset if they buy it from a nearby mobile phone store in the shopping centre.
However, Kitto said the stands will not sell the devices to customers directly. He added: ‘It is not a shop, it is a large 6m x 4m retail kiosk in the centre of the mall that is non-transactional. It is experiential and a long-term implementation in that particular shopping centre.’
He added: ‘The idea is to bring Nokia out onto the street, to engage consumers with the brand, with the Nokia Lumia 800 and show what we can do on the Windows Phone platform. We want to engage people by demonstrating the capability and benefits of the device and show how it is significantly more advanced in certain areas.’
Nokia is also increasing its Field Force team by over 70% to deliver comprehensive support to retail partners selling its Lumia devices. Kitto said: ‘We have significantly increased the numbers of our Field Force and they are also working more closely with Microsoft’s Field Force teams.’
He added that the company is committed to maintaining the size of its Field Force team next year as it continues to launch new devices from its flagship Lumia range. The manufacturer is expected to launch the Lumia 710 in the first quarter of 2012.