Nokia to unveil flagship UK store

Nokia will unveil its UK flagship store on London’s Regent Street in November, featuring interiors that emphasise the Finnish heritage of the brand.

This will be the telecommunications company’s eighth global flagship store to open since December 2005.

US consultancy Eight designed the interior concept, in collaboration with Nokia’s in-house retail design team. Eight was appointed to design the flagship in January 2005, following a five-way pitch.

‘It was a tall order to take the brand, which had never done anything big in retail, and translate it into a retail brand,’ admits Nokia head of retail marketing Cliff Crosbie, who previously worked with Nike on Niketown. ‘The concept is about bringing Nokia alive in a retail space and offering customers a 360-degree experience of the brand.’

The shop will be lined with LCD screens displaying information on the phone that customers pick up nearest to them. Customers will be able to alter the colour of translucent backlit wall panels by texting from their phones.

‘We want to achieve a long-lasting design that can stay in place for many years,’ says Crosbie. ‘The environment is very visually interactive, so it can change according to styles, always staying fresh. Our use of glass, wood and Corian, and very simple furniture, enhances that.’ He adds that the concept allows room for 70 per cent more technology to be incorporated into the stores in future years.

The Regent Street location was acquired in 2005. Eight has created a modular design that can be adapted to different sites.

Eight New York design director Dooho Lee says, ‘The interplay between the Regent Street building and the three elements of the LED walls, LCD screens and product presentation provides a contrast between the traditional and contemporary. This reflects Nokia, whose product line represents the interplay between the existing and the innovative.’

• UK flagship Nokia store to open in London’s Regent Street in November, with concept design by New York-based consultancy Eight, working with the Nokia in-house retail design team
• Nokia expanded its in-house design team in May, with the appointment of Mark Delaney as design director of broad appeal to oversee the design direction of Nokia’s phone products for the mass market
• Other appointments are in the pipeline, as part of a new set-up at Nokia Design overseen by chief designer Alastair Curtis to create two key design teams, in London’s Soho and Espoo, Finland

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