Founded in 1999, Blue Nile Inc. is an online specialty retailer of fine jewelery. A seller of certified diamonds, the company was furnished into Blue Nile Inc. as we know it by Marc C. Vadon. Ever since, the company has raised and exceeded more bars than one can count. It showed a thirty per cent increase in sales from 2003 to 2004. In 2006, a mere seven years after its foundation, Blue Nile Inc. was larger than the next three largest online jewelers combined.
The factors that have propelled Blue Nile Inc. to the top of the game would be its high quality diamonds, which are certified by all diamond grading labs and that the customers can select their stones in terms of shape, shape, cut, clarity and carat. This way, the diamond shoppers have been very satisfied with the company's work over the years, since they get to be the part of the making as well as make sure that the stone they select is one they can afford. These custom made jewelleries range encompasses everything from a pendant to rings. Also, the fact that people can sit at home, and design their love bands favor Blue Nile Inc. in the most. The transformation of the physical store to an online shop has invited more customers from all over the world. Although based in Seattle, Washington, Blue Nile has customers from Europe and Asia. For a company that has been around for such a short time, it has been blowing off traditional competitors like Tiffany & Co. Admittedly, Blue Nile Inc. defeated Tiffany in sales for the first time way back in 2006, selling an astounding $11 million more in diamonds than Tiffany's $186 million.
In 2010, they upped the scales when the company reported net sales of $333 million. This followed the year to year increase of 10.2% in diamond retail. The cash balance in the company was also substantial, as they managed to maintain $113.3 million safe in their pockets, which was another up from the previous year (being $93.1 million). Repeat customers showed their preference in the diamond retail market by choosing Blue Nile Inc. again, as the statistics show that 24.5% of the sales made in 2010 were made by customers who had previously purchased from the company. The company famously calls it "Jeweller for Life" honor. 2010 also saw a record EBITDA of $31.3 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA as it is popularly called, shows the total cash profit of a company in an year. In 2010, Blue Nile showed an increase of 7.5% over 2009. The objective of the company to reach markets beyond the American plate was also realized in 2010 when a record breaking $43.3 million in sales were achieved in the international markets. This shows a 30.4% year over year increase and also represents 13% in overall sales made by the company in 2010. Blue Nile Inc. also managed to repurchase $25.3 million of their own stock holdings during 2010. The company also launched Apple and Android apps in hopes of touching more and more people's lives through internet and other related social media in the "take Blue Nile with them" scheme. One of the most important factors in their financial gains, Free Cash Flow, also broke records in 2010. It summed up to $39.8 million in the year while making the overall cumulative free cash flow since its inception total up to $240.1 million.
Blue Nile Inc. also succeeded in making more countries their home territory by expanding their markets further, which totaled 40 markets and countries in 2010. Diamond sales are predominantly ring biased, making would-be brides cry tears of joy since time immemorial. Hence, it would come as no surprise that engagement rings accounted for 67.5% of the company's sales made in 2010. The average diamond ring was sold for $6,100. 2010 also saw the company increase its base to more than 70,000 diamonds varying in shape, size, clarity, cut and carat.
What sets Blue Nile Inc. apart from other companies is its customer transparency. The company offers a guarantee and an excellent return and cash back policy, if the customer is not satisfied. In addition, Blue Nile also teaches the diamond impaired public the basic tools and concepts of diamond making and purchasing. Given on the fact that the diamonds are custom made for every suitable user makes Blue Nile a force to be reckoned with. In 2010, Blue Nile operated with only 146 staff members, of which only 133 were full time employees. The company has also achieved excellence in ethical practices, only engaging the gold and other metals from suppliers meeting all human rights and environmental awareness criteria and gold sourcing from recycled and secondary sources.
Consequently, Blue Nile has been the recipient of various awards: Forbes Favorite (2000-2005), BizRate.com Circle of Excellence Platinum Award (the only jeweller to have ever received this honor) and Internet Retailer Best of The Web Company (2007) among others.
Blue Nile Inc. Annual Report
Blue Nile Inc.: World's Largest Diamond Retailer. Seminar #1