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Blue Nile Has Changed a Lot in 2 Years — and Another Shift May Be Coming Soon

Management has changed and revenue is up.

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Blue Nile has changed substantially since it became a private company two years ago, and another big shift — a return to the public markets — could be on the horizon, GeekWire reports.

Since Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC bought the company for $500 million, it has reconfigured its management team, adding former Target executive Jason Goldberger as CEO, among other hires.

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Blue Nile has also increased its revenue by $100 million a year, to $500 million. It’s also hired about 100 people and now has an employee base of 500.

It’s quite possible the company will become publicly traded again in the near future, GeekWire reports.

Blue Nile CFO Bill Koefoed said, “Our expectation is that we will tap back into the public markets, probably not in 2019, but if we continue to execute on our journey, I think you could see it happening some time after that.”

One thing the e-commerce retailer doesn’t plan to do in 2019 is open more brick-and-mortar stores. It has six of them across the country at present; they’re actually showroom locations where you can check out, but not buy, merchandise.

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Koefoed said the company is “continuing to look to explore what a future omni-channel presence will look like going into the future.”

Read more at GeekWire

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Pandora Names CEO

He’s joining the company from outside the industry.

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The Pandora board of directors has appointed Alexander Lacik to the roles of president and CEO.

He joins Pandora from the position as CEO of Britax Ltd., a child safety product company.

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Previously, he was president of North America at RB (Reckitt Benckiser) from 2013-2017 and has held key management positions with the leading global consumer goods company since 2004. He held positions in sales and marketing with Procter & Gamble from 1992 to 2004.

Peder Tuborgh, chairman of the Pandora board, said: “I am delighted that we have secured Alexander Lacik as CEO of Pandora. Alexander is a strong match for our recently announced strategic direction and will be instrumental in executing Programme NOW. Alexander is a brilliant marketer and brand architect and has throughout his career shown himself as a great leader and a highly effective executor. His skills and experience will be key to revitalising the Pandora brand.”

Lacik, 54, said, “I am honoured and excited to join Pandora. Pandora is an incredible company that has grown to be the world’s largest jewellery brand at unprecedented speed. I am encouraged by the current direction with a strong focus on brand reignition to restore growth.

“These are business aspects that I am particularly passionate about, and I look forward to joining and supporting the management team in the execution of Programme NOW.”

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The company said Lacik will begin the role “as soon as possible.”

Following the appointment, the executive management team of Pandora will consist of Lacik, Anders Boyer (CFO) and Jeremy Schwartz (COO). Until Lacik joins, the joint leadership of Boyer and Schwartz will continue unchanged.

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Renowned Retailers to Judge INSTORE Design Awards

Nine distinguished retailers form the panel.

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INSTORE ANNOUNCES THE JUDGES for its fourth annual design competition, the INSTORE Design Awards, which is accepting entries through February 22. Nine top retailers comprise the panel, which will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each contest category (the contest will also have an online voting component wherein all retailers will be invited to cast their votes for Retailer’s Choice in each category).

The judges are:

Patricia Faber
Co-owner, Aaron Faber, New York

Patricia and her husband, Edward, co-own Aaron Faber, which was founded in 1974 and resides on Fifth Avenue in New York. The store is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary studio jewelry, boasting nearly 50 designer collections. Patricia is a graduate gemologist and a frequent lecturer in the field of studio jewelry.

Elizabeth Gibson
Owner, Eliza Page, Austin, TX

Elizabeth founded Eliza Page in 2004 to showcase select independent jewelry artists based in Austin and around the world. Now with two locations, Eliza Page has been featured in various industry publications including INSTORE. Elizabeth is also the president of the Austin chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association.

Lindy Kavanaugh
Owner, Lindy’s Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL

Lindy, a graduate gemologist, opened Lindy’s Jewelry in 2001 in her hometown: Fernandina Beach in the greater Jacksonville area. The store moved into a new downtown building in 2016, adding about a dozen designer lines.

Lauren Kulchinsky Levison
Chief Style Officer, Mayfair Rocks, East Hampton, NY

Lauren represents the fourth generation at Mayfair Rocks alongside her brother Justin Kulchinsky. The store delivers a high-end client experience while representing nearly 40 jewelry designer collections. Lauren was inducted into the NATIONAL JEWELER Hall of Fame in 2002.

Marcus Majors
Owner, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

Marcus represents the fifth generation of Majors at Sam L. Majors and is a certified gemologist through AGS. Founded in 1898 by J.P. Majors, Sam L. Majors has been an authorized dealer for many high-end luxury jewelry and watch lines for over 40 years.

Sia Maravelias
Director, Quadrum Gallery, Chestnut Hill, MA

Sia considers her life “one big treasure hunt” as she is constantly seeking new jewelry artists to present to her clients at Quadrum, which is celebrating 40 years in business in the greater Boston area under owner Cynthia Kagan. Nearly 40 designer collections are currently on display in the gallery.

Orin and Tina Mazzoni
Owners, Orin Jewelers, Detroit

Orin and Tina represent the second generation of Orin Jewelers, which celebrates its 86th year in business this year. Orin is a graduate gemologist and a certified gemologist appraiser; he took over from his father as president and CEO in 1969. The store numbers nearly two dozen designer lines in its showcases.

Matthew Rosenheim
President, Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC

Matthew oversees the day-to-day operations of Tiny Jewel Box, named America’s Coolest Store in the Big Cool category in 2011. Matthew is the third generation of the Rosenheim family at Tiny Jewel Box, having joined the company in 1993. A graduate gemologist, Matthew is a founding member and serves on the Executive Board for Gen-Next Jewelers, serves on the Advisory Board of the Jewelry Information Center and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Laurie Watt
Co-owner, EAT Gallery, Maysville, KY

Located in historic downtown Maysville, KY, EAT Gallery offers one-of-a-kind local art and breathtaking natural treasures from around the world, including many independent jewelry designer collections. The gallery launched in 2006.

These judges will choose winners in each of the following categories of jewelry: gold, platinum, silver, colored gemstones, diamonds, colored diamonds, alternative materials, pearls, men’s jewelry and engagement/wedding rings, as well as best bracelet, best earring, best necklace, best ring and best statement piece.

Additionally, all entries will be included in a Voting Guide shipped with the April issue of INSTORE, as well as displayed online at instoremag.com where jewelry retailers will be invited to vote and choose a “Retailer’s Choice” award in each category.

Winners will be featured in the June issue of INSTORE, which is distributed at JCK and Couture in Las Vegas, as well as online at instoremag.com. Each winner will also receive a trophy commemorating their achievement. The grand prize winner will be featured on the front cover of the June issue.

Designers may enter at instoremag.com/awards.

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Retailer Sells 20,000 ‘Placeholder’ Engagement Rings for $1.30 Each

A British discount chain launched the rings in January.

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In just one week, British discount retailer has sold 20,000 “engagement rings” for the equivalent of $1.30 each.

Poundland says its Bling Rings are “placeholders” that people can wear until they can afford to buy actual fine jewelry, Insider reports.

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As a result of the frenzy, which began in January, the chain is now touting itself as the UK’s largest seller of engagement rings.

Poundland is similar to a U.S. dollar store. It has 850 locations in the UK and Ireland.

The rings serve as “an excuse to pop the question and make it official before they save up to purchase the real thing,” according to the retailer.

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A spokesperson told The Guardian: “These are beautiful placeholder rings because we know they’ll want to buy their own.”

The rings come in four designs and various sizes.

Read more at Insider

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