Last month, e-tailer Blue Nile was acquired by an investor group made up of Bain Capital Private Equity, Bow Street, and Adama Partners. Moving forward, it will become a private company, retreating from the public markets.
Known in the industry for its low-priced, generic engagement rings and fine jewellery, the company aims to allow consumers to take control of their retail experience. For independent jewellers, these core tenets of Blue Nile’s sales strategy have made it tough competition over the years. Blue Nile chairman, CEO and president, Harvey Kanter, notes that the online retailer has been successful in “disrupting” the way consumers shop for fine jewellery.
Kanter notes that as the company enters its “next phase” of growth, it will “continue to expand [its] vision and focus on putting the customer first by reaching them the way they prefer to shop, whether it’s a computer, mobile device, or in [Blue Nile’s] webrooms.”
As the company continues its journey into the private sector, independent jewellers must take steps to ensure that they remain competitive with the e-tailer. With Blue Nile’s lack of advertising and focus on generic engagement pieces, this is not as daunting a task as it may seem: they do not present branded product or timepieces, so this is a great way to amp up the competition. Social media presence, web advertising, and SEO are also important to consider, as Blue Nile lacks in these categories.
Remember: the best defense is a good offense.
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