Blue Nile (company)

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Blue Nile Inc.
Public company
Traded as NASDAQNILE
S&P 600 Component
Industry Retail
Founded 1999
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, USA
Key people
Harvey Kanter, CEO
David Binder, CFO
Products Diamonds & Jewelry
Revenue Increase US$ 473 million (2015)[1]
Decrease US$ 14.2 million (2015)[1]
Decrease US$ 9.7 million (2015)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$ 157.3 million (2015)[1]
Total equity Decrease US$ 13.7 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
301 (January 4, 2015)[2]
Website www.bluenile.com

Blue Nile is an online specialty retailer of fine jewelry. Blue Nile was founded in 1999 and today is the largest online retailer of diamonds. Blue Nile is based in Seattle, Washington and competes with traditional jewelry stores such as Tiffany & Co., and online retailer stores such as James Allen, Belgium Diamonds, Ringsberry.com.The key feature of being able to search through thousands of diamonds by carat weight, cut, clarity, color and other characteristics is what attracts many customers to the website.[3]

History[edit]

The company that became Blue Nile began in 1995 when Doug Williams of Williams & Son Inc. of Seattle started a website to sell diamonds online.[4] Mark C. Vadon, then a management consultant at Bain & Company, purchased a diamond engagement ring from the site in 1998.[4] In 1999, Vadon raised $6 million to purchase 85% of the company and improve the website.[4] The company’s name was changed to Blue Nile in November 1999.[5] During the next year, the company raised an additional $44 million.[4] Investors included Bessemer Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[5] Blue Nile raised $76 million in its IPO on May 18, 2004. Merrill Lynch & Co., Bear Stearns Cos. and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC managed the IPO, sharing fees of $5.4 million.[5] The initial public offering of shares in Blue Nile Inc, rose 39% in first-day trading, closing at $28.40.

On Oct 4, 2005, Blue Nile announced the launch of its United Kingdom Web site, following a successful deployment in Canada earlier.[6]

Although the company had $44 million in revenue in 2000, it lost $30 million because it spent $40 million in television advertising.[4] Its investors contributed an additional $7 million in 2001.[4] In 2006, Blue Nile sold $197 million in engagement rings and wedding bands, compared to $186 million for Tiffany & Co.[7]

On Nov, 8, 2011, CEO Diane Irvine, who had been with the company for 12 years and its CEO since 2008, abruptly resigned.[8] Irvine was replaced on an interim basis by senior vice president and general manager of international Vijay Talwar.[9] In March 2012, Harvey Kanter, former CEO of MooseJaw, was named the new CEO.[10]

In 2015, Blue Nile reported net sales of US$ 473 million and net income of US$ 9.7 million.[1] Blue Nile promotes itself as a supplier of ethically sourced diamonds and endorses a zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds.[11]

In the summer of 2015, Blue Nile opened their first webroom at Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, N.Y., the company plans to open three more webrooms in 2016 at The Westchester mall in White Plains, N.Y., at Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County, Va., and at Washington Square mall outside of Portland.[12]

Acquisition[edit]

A group of investors including Bain Capital Private Equity, Bow Street and Adama Partners completed the acquisition of Blue Nile, on February 17, 2017, for $40.75 per share. First announced on November 7, 2016, the transaction was approved by company shareholders on February 2, 2017. Trading in Blue Nile’s common stock on NASDAQ ended February 21.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Blue Nile Inc. financials". 
  2. ^ "Blue Nile Inc. SEC Filing 10-K". 
  3. ^ "Blue Nile Inc". Reuters.com. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rivlin, Gary (January 7, 2007). "When Buying a Diamond Starts With a Mouse". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Blue Nile IPO Raises $76 million". Seattle Post Intelligencer. May 19, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Blue Nile Announces Launch of United Kingdom Web Site". 
  7. ^ Barret, Victoria Murphy (October 25, 2007). "The Digital Diamond District". Forbes. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ Blue Nile CEO resigns abruptly; 3Q profit falls
  9. ^ Brohan, Mark. "Blue Nile hangs out the "help wanted" sign for a CEO". Internet Retailer. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ Blue Nile names Harvey Kanter new CEO
  11. ^ Jewelersmutual.com http://jewelersmutual.com/bluenile. Retrieved 17 May 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Tu, Janet. "Blue Nile reports lower sales and profit". Seattletimes.com. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  13. ^ DeMarco, Anthony. "Blue Nile Acquisition Completed, Company To Go Private". Forbes. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 

External links[edit]