Struggling Nokia shuts Shanghai store in bid to save costs

April 4 Thu Apr 4, 2013 1:22pm EDT

April 4 (Reuters) - Struggling mobile phone maker Nokia said it shut its flagship store in Shanghai, China, as part of a strategy to save costs and sell its phones through carriers and retail partners instead.

The Finnish company confirmed it closed its biggest store for good last week, leaving Helsinki home to the last remaining flagship outlet.

"For a while now, we've been focusing on operator and third-party retail outlets, rather than our own physical stores," a spokesman said in an email.

Nokia has also sold and leased back its company headquarters in Espoo, Finland, in an effort to preserve its cash position and concentrate on improving mobile phone sales.

The one-time industry leader has fallen behind in smartphones to Samsung and Apple, while also facing tough competition from Asian rivals at the lower end of the mobile phone market.

Net sales of devices and services in Greater China fell 68 percent in 2012.

The company is aiming for a comeback with its range of Lumia handsets, and late last year clinched a deal to sell them through China Mobile. It is hoping lower-priced Lumia models will appeal to China's increasingly tech-savvy but budget-conscious middle class.

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