By Michelle Graff
A shot from inside Blue Nile’s “webroom” in White Plains, N.Y. Photos of the recently opened Virginia store were not available at press time, though a Blue Nile spokeswoman said the two locations look very similar.
Seattle--Blue Nile now has a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia and, as such, must begin collecting sales tax in the state, a company spokeswoman confirmed to National Jeweler.

The online retailer’s latest “webroom” opened Monday at the Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County, Va., which is in the Baltimore-Washington metro area.

It is the third brick-and-mortar establishment Blue Nile has opened, and the second to debut in less than two weeks. Its White Plains, N.Y. store opened its doors May 27.

The online jewelry retailer also has a store in Roosevelt Field mall, which is on Long Island just outside New York City, and has plans to open a fourth webroom in Portland, Ore. this summer.

The three other webrooms, however, have had no sales tax implications for the e-tailer.

Blue Nile collected sales tax in New York before its first webroom opened last June due to nexus (sufficient physical presence) in the Empire State, and Oregon is one of five states where there is no sales tax.

The company said Monday that it has no additional information to share at this time about potential future webrooms.

The point of Blue Nile’s brick-and-mortar experiment is to allow customers, or potential customers, to touch and try on diamond engagement rings and diamond jewelry (the stores are stocked with karat gold and platinum pieces set with cubic zirconia center stones) and speak with a sales associate in person.

But they still must buy via Blue Nile’s website, whether that happens on an iPad in the store or later after they leave. Customers do not walk out of Blue Nile’s webrooms with product in hand.

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