Want to know what it's like inside the Nokia flagship store in NYC? Take the disco floor from Saturday Night Fever, slow the color changes down to "mellow" and put it on two long walls. Underneath the disco-floor walls place a long row of screens playing videos of replicants in repose. And beneath that line up every phone Nokia has ever made (at least it seems that way). When you pull a phone away from its wall-mount, a smart little advert pops up on the screen (as in the video clip above).
The 57th street store doesn't open to the public until September 9, but they offered NYC journos a sneak peek today. More details after the jump...
This store is essentially the same as the Nokia flagship in Chicago, but split into three levels — which may be why it feels so much like a nightclub. The first floor is a showcase for the general lineup, including accessories. Second floor is devoted to the n-series handsets and add-ons. And the top floor is a twee jewelry store complete with blinged-out Vertu phones behind glass cases. There is nothing on display here you haven't seen online already.
The Apple inspiration is blatantly obvious. The interior is done by the same firm that designed the Apple store. The place will be staffed by Nokia employees whose job is to educate rather than to push product (no commissions or quotas). And there is a repair center on site.
There are basically two kinds of people who buy from this sort of store. The first are trade show warriors who forgot their charger and need one quick. The second is the type who is willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a particular model of Nokia phone. Like one of those Vertu Ascent Racetrack Legends.
But you don't have to be wealthy to pop into the Nokia store and ask them to pull one of those limited edition models from behind the glass case and display it on a velvet-lined desk tray. And let's face it, that is about the closest you are going to get to a Vertu hands-on in this lifetime. — Noah Robischon