Yesterday I had a sneak peek at Nokia's flagship store that will open here in NYC on Saturday (9 September 2006). The store, located just east of 5th Avenue on 57th Street, is the second Nokia store to open here in the US. Aiming to change the experience of learning about and purchasing wireless devices, Nokia's stores are highly experiential and are staffed by trained and articulate employees who are not tasked with selling devices so much as selling Nokia. Product support and servicing will also be facilitated in the store.
Phones sold in the store include a range beyond what's sold by the US carriers, in addition to the ones already supported. While the focus is not on selling wireless plans, T-Mobile and Sprint accounts are available.The main floor (above, left), where customers will enter, has the full line of products and accessories on display including the 8801 front and center. The second floor features Nseries handsets and examples of the various devices they connect to for music amplification, picture printing, and digital media sharing. The top level (above, right) is dedicated to Vertu—the super luxury line of handsets and on opening day it will be the first place to see their new series of phones called Constellation (right).
Designed by Eight Inc, the first two floors are walled with luminous, color changing panels that wrap around flat panel displays and product pedestals. The displays feature a rotation of animations by various boutique graphic power houses including Hi-Res, Tomato, Universal Everything, The Hanazuki Company, Graphic Havoc and Phunk Studio. One nice touch is that when you pick up a product a layer overlays the animation to show all the details on that item. Check out the video below (created with my E70) to see how it works.