Based in Seattle, Washington, Blue Nile. Inc. operates as an online retailer (www.bluenile.com) of diamonds and fine jewelry globally. The Company lists 150,000 diamonds and Blue Nile Signature Diamonds are the top 1% of diamond cuts worldwide, sourced exclusively for the Company. Blue Nile provides comprehensive educational materials and innovative online tools that put customers in control of the jewelry shopping procedure.
Established in 1999, Blue Nile provides thousands of independently graded diamonds and fine jewelry at prices considerably below traditional retail. In addition, every loose diamond sold by Blue Nile has undergone analysis and grading by either the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL). Moreover, all Blue Nile Signature Collection diamonds are certified by Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL).
Blue Nile offers phone support, live chat, and e-mail with non-commissioned Diamond and Jewellery Consultants. Furthermore, Blue Nile is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Company also has its Webrooms, which offer a way to see, touch, and try on the Company’s rings in person. Webrooms are low-overhead installations. These rooms create a hybrid online/offline shopping experience. They enable shoppers to try on a variety of engagement rings.
Additionally, shoppers can view over 400 pieces of jewelry from every angle, and get pressure-free advice from non-commissioned consultants. Shoppers can also access an online catalog of 150,000 independently graded diamonds from in-store tablets.
Blue Nile offers engagement products, including gold or platinum engagement rings with a diamond center stone and loose diamonds. The Company also offers non-engagement products. These include rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, gifts, and accessories containing precious metals, diamonds, gemstones, or pearls.
Recently, Blue Nile announced it will open a Webroom by Thanksgiving this year at Bellevue Square. This site is just miles from the Company’s Seattle, Washington headquarters. This will be Blue Nile’s fifth Webroom. Blue Nile also has Webrooms at Washington Square Mall in Portland, Oregon; Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, New York; The Westchester Mall, in White Plains, New York; and Tysons Corner Center Mall in Fairfax County, Virginia.
A typical Blue Nile Webroom has five or six employees. The staff consists of a General Manager and normally five collaborative selling staff. These Webrooms are usually 500 to 700 square feet.
Mr. Harvey Kanter, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Blue Nile, said, “Blue Nile continues to reimagine the retail experience by bridging the on and offline user experience through the Webroom concept, which will feature five locations by year-end.”
A highlight of Blue Nile’s Q2 2016 financial results is that its wedding band business experienced another quarter of double-digit unit growth; this makes 12 out of the last 14 quarters. For Q2, the Company’s diamond jewelry units grew by double-digits; sales grew in the mid-single digits. Furthermore, Europe and China had double-digit growth for Blue Nile during Q2. Asia-Pacific represents close to 60% of Blue Nile’s international sales and most of this comes from Greater China.
However, the Company’s sales in the overall U.S. engagement category declined by 4%. Most of the decline was from lower selling prices – the Company continues to see relative weakness from orders at higher prices. For Q2, Blue Nile produced sales of $113.8 million. This represents a small increase from the same period the year prior.