The development of retail in Jordan is definitely heating up. Larger and more sophisticated stores are on the way. I expect this trend to gain even more momentum with opening of City Mall (this year?). In Mecca Mall I noticed that a new Nokia Concept Store is being constructed on the ground floor of the mall’s new extension. The store seems rather large and will definitely be an interesting addition to the retail scene (can we dream of a proper Apple Store one day ).
Nokia Concept Stores are being opened in the Middle East. In fact the world’s largest Nokia store was opened in June 2005 in Saudi Arabia, according to Middle East media portal Strategiy:
â€œSaudi Arabia is an important market for all companies in the Middle East and this weekâ€™s activities will help support our ambitions for the kingdom,â€ said Eddie Maalouf, General Manager, Nokia Middle East and North Africa. â€œOur strategy is to become as close to the consumer as possible, to provide the highest end-to-end level of service and quality throughout the shopping experience.â€
The layout and design of the the three stores follows the same pattern as Nokia Concept Stores around the world to guarantee an easy and informative shopping experience. With a simple-to-navigate setup, large uncluttered windows, open doorways and low-glare lighting, the store provides a relaxed and satisfying customer experience. The high-tech display terminals and dedicated areas for Imaging, Smart, Multimedia, Business and Entry phones make it easy for the public to keep up to date on the latest technologies and trends in the mobile industry. The Riyadh store measures approximately 230 square meters.
â€œNokiaâ€™s Concept Store strategy is to provide consumers with a three-dimensional experience with the Nokia brand. We do this with great care to design all elements of the retail outlet with great attention to detail. Our aim is to create a unique and holistic shopping experience for our customers,â€ said Eddie Maalouf.
Googling for ‘Nokia Concept Store’ yielded this picture from Austria:
The other day, a fellow designer familiar with Nokia’s global brand, told me that the Middle East is really one of the hottest markets in the world for the company. Compared to the US market, where many consumers go for simple phones, Arab consumers go for the most sophisticated models that have all the bells and whistles. When I look at people around me I think that’s very true. My Nokia 6600 is really an old hat compared to what some of my young colleagues have .
I think that Arab youth see the mobile as three things: 1. A communication device that frees their communication/information device from traditional social constraints. 2. A piece of technology that they can understand and add to their lifestyle, giving them a feeling of being part of the digital age. 3. A status symbol.
Good for Nokia!
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