Blue Nile History

In: Business and Management

Submitted By hoodedknight
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Blue Nile Inc. 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. 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.[citation

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]

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.[6] In 2010, Blue Nile reported net sales of $332.9 million. [7] Net income increased 10.2% to $14.1 million and international sales increased 30.4% to $43.3 million from $33.2 million.[8]

On Nov, 8, 2011, CEO Diane Irvine, who had been with the company for 12 years and its CEO since 2008, abruptly resigned.…...

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