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Old 11-03-2007, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Every few months especially around new device release time I come back to the thought that RIM would be better off with a few well placed factory stores selling branded and unbranded devices, educating customers, selling service, selling accessories, and servicing BB's.

One can say the expense, and the service providers do a ok job, but IMO RIM doing RIM business takes them up to another level, and certainly will add to RIM's bargaining position with the service providers AND add to the value of RIM in it's customers eyes.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cblackberrynyc View Post
Every few months especially around new device release time I come back to the thought that RIM would be better off with a few well placed factory stores selling branded and unbranded devices, educating customers, selling service, selling accessories, and servicing BB's.

One can say the expense, and the service providers do a ok job, but IMO RIM doing RIM business takes them up to another level, and certainly will add to RIM's bargaining position with the service providers AND add to the value of RIM in it's customers eyes.

I agree sort of like a Mac store setup. Even though you can buy mac's online and at Comp Usa a mac store serves as a teaching tool and another revenue stream for the sale of units.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Something like the Nokia Flagship Store in NYC would be spectacular. And I bet they'd do a brisk business, too! Imagine knowledgable reps and all the latest devices under one roof. I don't think it would detract from the carriers either. Plenty of folks want to get the huge discounts from full retail available only from their provider. That's not going to change. But those of us who gladly pay full retail or even a premium will have a scam-free place to get our Blackberrys.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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RIM used to sell devices (and provide support) directly to customers. There are NOT a marketing company. They are an excellent engineering company.

Why not let the carriers handle all of the marketing and first line support?

I would be surprised (but not totally surprised) if we ever saw a RIM Store.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes that would be pretty darn sweet!

Wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't thought of it!

Not sure how feasible it would be!
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A single-store would be nice.

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Old 11-03-2007, 08:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You have to give Apple credit for supplying the iPhone buyers with the most amazing customer service ever. Apple stores have monthly "classes" where new iPhone users can learn all the ins and outs of the phone...plus their stores have basic repair centers built in to help customers with hardware/software issues...

Although I did four iPhone exchanges before I just flat gave up and sold my phone...the exchanges were painless, with Apple sending me a "loaner" and a mailer to send my phone to them in...and then they sent my phone back, and I reversed the process. Really the best customer service imagineable.

Why RIM couldn't have stores setup in cities across the US is beyond me. There is no doubt that it would be a marketing breakthrough for them, and probably gain them tons of new sales.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it's a great idea. It's interesting cause I think a few years ago, it would never work. But, RIM is marketing the BB as not being a total "business only" device so opening a store would be a good thing.

On the other hand, I think if they did open stores, they should only be in airports. I think that would be the way to get the most business and traffic out of them.

I know Palm had stores...or still does. I wonder if they did well.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't think it would be of benefit to RIM to have brick and mortar stores of their own, that adds a lot of expense to the business and is not really necessary since they sell their phones through carrier and independent stores now. I think Apple is only successful with their stores because of the cultish following they have and their products not being readily available everywhere (minus the ipod type stuff).
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How does one explain the Nokia factory stores then? I agree Apple is different, but I'm seeing that different is quickly becoming the norm. RIM would be stronger with direct access to consumers in a small amount of factory stores.

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Originally Posted by rjw3000 View Post
I don't think it would be of benefit to RIM to have brick and mortar stores of their own, that adds a lot of expense to the business and is not really necessary since they sell their phones through carrier and independent stores now. I think Apple is only successful with their stores because of the cultish following they have and their products not being readily available everywhere (minus the ipod type stuff).
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't even know where a Nokia store is and never heard of one until I saw this post. From looking on their site, they have one in Chicago (on Mich. Ave I am gonna guess) and one in NY. Not exactly an Apple Store situation there.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Not thinking RIM should follow Apple, when I suggest a few, well placed factory stores. The Nokia or even Palm route might be a better comparison. Direct access to customers, direct service to customers, direct sales for branded and unbranded to customers. All IMO a great investment that would pay off in the long run for RIM.

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Originally Posted by rjw3000 View Post
I don't even know where a Nokia store is and never heard of one until I saw this post. From looking on their site, they have one in Chicago (on Mich. Ave I am gonna guess) and one in NY. Not exactly an Apple Store situation there.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Nokia's Flagship Store program is an experiment. One or two stores, in major cities like New York, Chicage, or L.A. would be the likely starting point. They have tons of demographic research data from sales of BB's by carrier, so look to the fastest growing areas for BB sales. Give it a year or two, and if it doesn't make sense after that, shut it down. But I have to believe it would be a monster hit.
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It would be nice idea. With the Consolidation of the carriers (Sprint/Nextel) and (Cingular/ATT), I am not sure if the need is so great.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjw3000 View Post
I don't think it would be of benefit to RIM to have brick and mortar stores of their own, that adds a lot of expense to the business and is not really necessary since they sell their phones through carrier and independent stores now. I think Apple is only successful with their stores because of the cultish following they have and their products not being readily available everywhere (minus the ipod type stuff).
I think Blackberry has a Cultish Following. You ever read this forum? Lmao
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I dunno. BlackBerrys are generally all released by a carrier at one time... the perk of having a Nokia or Motorola factory store is that they have lots of devices that carriers don't carry and they want to make available to the general public. RIM doesn't really have that.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:39 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
Nokia's Flagship Store program is an experiment. One or two stores, in major cities like New York, Chicage, or L.A. would be the likely starting point. They have tons of demographic research data from sales of BB's by carrier, so look to the fastest growing areas for BB sales. Give it a year or two, and if it doesn't make sense after that, shut it down. But I have to believe it would be a monster hit.
But it's a very expensive experiment. I work in retail. Our typical store is anly about 1400-1500 sq/ft. It costs us $250K to build out and fixture. Running brick and mortar is really expensive. And the rent for downtown locations in major cities is astronomical.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I look at the Nokia stores as being nothing more than an advertising thing for Nokia and nothing else. Both stores are located in high tourist areas (NYC and Mich Ave in Chicago) and are there for show. Nokia has what seems like an unending number of phones, so going into a Nokia store to see all the phones would probably be something to see while in those areas. I would be surprised if either store makes money.

Like CanuckBB, brick and mortar is a very expensive proposition
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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"Store visitors can interact and become familiar with Nokia's mobile devices and service before purchasing them. The store is equipped with a state-of-the-art audio and video system, including display screens that help visitors identify different areas of the store. Product descriptions appear on a nearby digital display when a visitor picks up a product to view.

All of Nokia's products are connected to the store's network and linked to the appropriate accessories, including wireless speakers, headsets, and printers.

The flagship stores reflect Nokia's business-to-consumer sales model, which helps Nokia better understand consumer needs, the company said. But Nokia isn't the only company to use this model. Apple, among other vendors, has put up stores in different cities across the United States, where visitors can test out products and talk to sales reps in person, and existing customers can get technical support right in the store.

Apple last May opened a mega store on New York's Fifth Avenue, which the company calls its "most architecturally innovative store." The store's facade is a 32-foot glass cube, and it's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Nokia's Shanghai flagship store is the seventh of 18 planned flagship stores and second in the region. Nokia opened its first Asia Pacific store in Hong Kong last July. Nokia also has two stores in the United States, in New York and Chicago."

RIM like the others should think of a few well placed factory stores as a investment.
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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"Why Nokia would throw down the big midtown real-estate bucks for stores that only a tiny fraction of the world will ever see? No doubt, there's executive ego involved, and the irrational desire to keep up with Steve Jobs' gleaming Apple stores, not to mention the flashy Samsung, LG, and Sony outlets all within a stone's throw.

But there is also some sound business logic at work here. Cellphones are getting increasingly complex - are they phone or computer or camera or MP3 player or all of the above? So it's helpful to have a refuge where all of a customer's dumb questions can be answered by a (presumably) well-trained, non-commission-driven sales rep. While the store may not see a significant percentage of all Nokia handset owners, it will appeal disproportionately to the early-adopters and the power users, in other words, the opinion influencers. So consider this the trickle down theory of retail, and go check out those Vertu handsets."

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