The Seattle-based online jeweler is expanding its “webrooms” — brick-and-mortar showrooms — to the West Coast.
Blue Nile is expanding its “webrooms” — brick-and-mortar showrooms for its jewelry — to the West Coast, with a location opening Friday in Portland, and another planned for Bellevue Square.
The Seattle-based online jeweler opened its first webroom at Roosevelt Field mall in Long Island, N.Y., in June 2015. It’s since opened more locations at The Westchester mall in White Plains, N.Y., and Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County, Va.
On Friday, it opened its fourth webroom — the first one on the West Coast — at Washington Square mall in Portland.
At about 500 to 700 square feet, the webrooms are smaller than traditional jewelry stores.
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While customers can see the company’s products in the stores, and can try on a selection of engagement rings, all purchases are done online through tablets in the stores. The store’s salespeople are noncommissioned.
“We’re finding that a segment of shoppers want access to Blue Nile’s easy, educational and pressure-free advice in a physical setting where they can see, touch and feel the product but still take advantage of online prices,” Harvey Kanter, the company’s president, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Kanter said during a conference call with investors after the company’s most recent earnings results that the Roosevelt Field webroom “continues to grow and exceed our expectations,” while performance at the other two East Coast locations looked “promising.”
The company confirmed Friday that it’s planning to open a webroom in Bellevue Square.
Blue Nile is among several online companies that have opened brick-and-mortar stores in recent years.
Glasses purveyor Warby Parker opened its second Seattle location last month. The formerly online-only company began establishing physical stores in 2013 and currently has more than 30 retail locations, where customers can try on frames and buy eyeglasses and sunglasses in the store, taking home any frame that doesn’t require a prescription. (Customers who buy prescription eyeglasses can have their order shipped to them or pick it up in the store.)
Online men’s clothier Bonobos now has some two dozen brick-and-mortar Guideshops, including one at University Village, where customers can try on and order the clothing on the company’s website, with the order delivered to customers’ home or office.