Blue Nile success prompts debut US store opening

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Online retailer to open its first stand-alone store following tests.

Online diamond jewellery retailer Blue Nile has announced plans to open its first stand-alone boutique in the United States.

According to a report by JCK, Blue Nile president, chief executive officer and chairman Harvey Kanter unveiled his plans in a conference call following the release of its positive financial results.

JCK reports that the new bricks-and-mortar outlet will be located “in one of the top malls” using “one of the world’s leading developers”.

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The company had previously opened two ‘test’ showrooms in fashion retailer Nordstrom, which were deemed to be a success. Dubbed a ‘webrooming experience’ for customers, Blue Nile had previously used Nordstrom to tempt undecided consumers into buying its products online, allowing them to touch and feel pieces and buy them via in-store iPads.

In a quote recorded by JCK, Kanter explains: “Those tests are coming to an end, and we consider them a success. We learned a lot about how the customer expects to interact with us in a store-based environment.”

Other US online retailers to experiment with bricks-and-mortar stores include Warby Parker, Bonobos and Amazon, which recently opened a store at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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