An online jeweler known for its diamonds and fine jewelry is opening a showroom in Dallas: Blue Nile, a popular online source for wedding and engagement rings, is opening a location at NorthPark Center.
According to a spokesperson, the goal is to have the NorthPark shop open in time for holiday gift shopping, but definitely by the end of the year.
Blue Nile proclaims itself the world's leading diamond jeweler online for engagement and wedding rings, with lower markups for high-quality, conflict-free, GIA graded diamonds and fine jewelry.
Based in Seattle, the company was founded in 1999 by Mark Vadon who was dissatisfied shopping for an engagement ring through traditional retail, and who felt that buying an engagement ring online would be superior.
They keep their margins low because they list diamonds directly from manufacturers and wholesalers, instead of investing in an inventory and then trying to recoup their money.
They have a large selection of settings, including special editions by designers such as Zac Posen. Customers can search through an inventory of more than 50,000 diamonds, and there's also a Build-Your-Own function where you can customize rings, earrings, and pendants. A savvy customer service team offers no-pressure advice and guidance.
In addition to diamond, gold, pearl, sterling silver, platinum, and gemstone jewelry in classic and modern designs, they also have an exclusive "Fancy Colored Diamonds" collection of rare fancy colored diamonds, including extremely rare diamonds in red and pink hues.
They currently have 21 physical showrooms located throughout the United States, including one that just opened in Houston in April; there's also a location in Austin. Showrooms offer customer service, private consultation rooms, and exclusive lounges, with guidance on pieces such as rings and necklaces from the showroom, or jewels and jewelry available online. A lounge space means that friends and family can offer input.
Coincidentally, the company was just acquired by Signet Jewelers, parent company of Zales and the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, in order to expand its bridal offerings and attract a customer demographic that is younger, more affluent, and ethnically diverse.
It puts Blue Nile in the top tier of Signet's Accessible Luxury banners alongside Jared, James Allen, and Diamonds Direct.