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Online Retailing

Blue Nile now displaying its rings in a store

December 10, 2013

Seattle--Nordstrom is showcasing Blue Nile engagement rings and wedding bands at its flagship location in downtown Seattle, marking the first time the e-tailer’s pieces have been shown in a brick-and-mortar store.

While Blue Nile did not respond to request for comment as of press time and Nordstrom could not be reached, Nordstrom stated on its blog that the jewelry is not available for purchase at the department store but its sales people are prepared to answer questions and place orders online.

Nordstrom’s curated selection of Blue Nile bridal jewelry consists of 115 pieces and the display, which opened last month, is located in the store’s Wedding Suite.

Julie Yoakum, chief merchandising officer at Blue Nile, told The Seattle Times that the company is looking at the arrangement “well beyond the holiday period” and that “the hope would be to expand to other wedding suites.” Though the experiment started at the Wedding Suite in Seattle, where both Blue Nile and the department store chain are based, there are 18 Nordstrom Wedding Suites in total across the nation.

Still, Yoakum said Blue Nile is committed to e-commerce, and will use the Nordstrom displays as a channel for consumers to try on and see jewelry in person before purchasing.

The in-store viewing, online-buying model Blue Nile is experimenting with closely resembles the recent opening of Gemvara’s showroom in Boston on Newbury Street, in the city’s popular Back Bay neighborhood. Experts say that more online-only retailers may open physical locations in the future in order to give them that in-person connection with their customers.