Blue Nile opens first brick-and-mortar store

Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile opened its first brick-and-mortar location in New York. Located in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island, the store, called the "Web Room", will test whether Blue Nile can grow conversion rates.

Blue Nile recently finished a successful partnership with Nordstrom, including a shop-in-shop effort in the Roosevelt Field Mall. The company is also drawing on experience from placing booths at a wedding show in China, which helped drive a 50 percent increase in sales there, the Seattle Times reported. Blue Nile is one of many U.S. retailers that sells to Chinese consumers through a partnership on e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).

"We're doing a test with a belief that at some point we'll expand but…We'll see where it goes," Blue Nile CEO Harvey Kanter told Yahoo Finance. "Millennials want to be in the driver's seat whether it's on a PC, phone or tablet or now in New York, in-store... It's all about the experience."

The Web Room occupies 325 sq. ft. and is staffed with six employees. There are three cases of product, showcasing ring styles. Consumers are led to a bar where staff will walk them through the 250,000 possible stones on an oversized tablet. All sales will still be made online, but can be ordered for pickup in the physical store—which will also offer free cleanings and repair.

Blue Nile is following in the footsteps of several e-commerce retailers who have recently made the jump into physical stores including Rent the Runway, Bonobos, Warby Parker and even Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

For more:
-See this Yahoo Finance article
-See this Seattle Times article

Related stories:
Rent the Runway adding physical stores, sportswear
Northwest U.S. e-commerce appealing to Chinese shoppers
Alibaba predicted to hit $8B in sales on Singles' Day
Warby Parker opens Chicago concept store
The Grommet opens first physical pop-up shop
 

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