Nokia will be entering Q3 free of any direct-to-consumer sales channels in the US and UK. The Finnish smartphone maker shuttered its remaining UK retail stores earlier this month (with the exception of Heathrow Airport, which remains open), and also discontinued sales on its US and UK online stores -- joining France, Spain, and The Netherlands, which all went offline last month. We spoke to a former Nokia UK retail employee, who cited poor marketing, high prices, slowing traffic and a high product return rate as a few of the reasons that the stores closed -- returns of the N8 and E7 dominated other handsets, with customers complaining of device crashes and corruption, hardware failures, and usability issues. He reports that the stores were also only able to sell devices on Vodafone and T-Mobile, and only Vodafone allowed customers to upgrade in a Nokia store. The majority of customers came into the store for support, rather than to make a purchase.
We imagine pricing played a large role in the decision to close the UK and US online stores, just as it did with UK retail and online stores in other countries. Both country's online stores have been replaced with a closure notice, with the US store directing customers to Amazon, and the UK store referring visitors to eight retail partners, instead.
"The last two months were particularly quiet. Even if the shopping centre was busy, the Nokia store would have perhaps no more than 30 people through the door a day, usually for technical assistance. And that was that, all stores were closed abruptly on June 20th."