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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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As Christmas approaches, the queries you’ll hear from customers are actually pretty predictable, says jewelry store training expert Jimmy DeGroot. Here's how to make sure your team is prepared for the more common ones.

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CEO of Dominion Diamond Steps Down; New Chief Named

He was in the role for just over a year.

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Patrick Evans has resigned as CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp. after just over a year on the job.

He left the Canadian mining company on Dec. 5, Bloomberg reports. He had begun the role in November 2017.

Stepping into the position is Shane Durgin, who had been serving as chief operating officer.

Dominion was purchased by Montana-based Washington Cos. last year for $1.2 billion.

Evans was hired “to oversee and ensure a smooth transition following the acquisition of Dominion Diamond Mines by Washington,” said Larry Simkins, president of Washington Cos., in a memo to staff.

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Bloomberg reports that Evans would not comment except to say he would continue as an adviser for the company through the end of 2019.

Read more at the Bloomberg

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Major Online Jewelry Brand Opens Brick-and-Mortar Store

It will provide ‘an immersive gallery experience.’

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Online diamond bridal jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com has opened a brick-and-mortar location in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

The store will allow customers to “experience the JamesAllen.com brand in an immersive gallery experience in a physical environment enhanced by the brand’s technology-forward approach to shopping,” according to a press release.

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Video: It’s Crunch Time for Jewelers … Here’s Some Last-Minute Christmas Advice

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Gene the Jeweler

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JamesAllen.com was acquired last year by Signet Jewelers in a $328 million deal.

“We’re excited to continue executing Signet’s Customer-First OmniChannel strategy with this new shopping experience from JamesAllen.com, integrating both our digital and physical retail platforms,” said Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer at Signet Jewelers. “The world-class innovation and technology at the core of JamesAllen.com’s business will come to life in the new location, redefining the jewelry shopping experience for our customers.”

The concept store will feature:

Virtual Reality. Customers “can learn about the 4Cs and how to make the best decision when buying diamonds in an immersive way, using a VR headset while viewing a 3D video with narration,” according to the company.

Coffee Bar with “iGrade.” Enjoy coffee while using “patented tablet-based technology that enables customers to browse and grade diamond quality online for peer-to-peer preference comparisons.”

Ring Try-On Photo Booth. Customers can take pictures with diamond rings and upload the images to their social channels, with added visual elements including GIFs and animation, for instant feedback from family and friends.

Self-Service Diamond Display Table. It’s a 10-foot table display featuring best-selling engagement rings, giving customers instant access to diamond rings without needing a key or associate.

The company adds: “As a demonstration of JamesAllen.com’s OmniChannel strategy, customer service representatives at the store will also be available to assist customers through online channels. For example, when employees at the Georgetown location are not assisting customers in-person, they will continue to provide service to customers online, from the same Georgetown location.”

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FedEx Worker Pawned $36,000 of Jewelry Instead of Delivering It, Police Say

He allegedly received $6,000 for the merchandise.

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A Cincinnati man who worked for FedEx is accused of stealing jewelry rather than delivering it.

Terry Hagood was charged with two counts of theft and has pleaded not guilty to both, WKRC-TV reports.

The jewelry in question, worth $36,000 in two shipments, was bound for Quality Gold, police say.

Instead of delivering it, Hagwood allegedly took the jewelry to Queen City Pawn.

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Authorities say he received $6,000 for the merchandise. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in September.

Bond for Hagwood was set at $2,000. He was being held in Hamilton County, OH.

According to WXIX-TV, it was a FedEx corporate security specialist who filed a police report accusing Hagwood of theft.

Read more at the WKRC-TV

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