Online jewelry retailer continues mall expansion with 'Webroom' format


Online fine jeweler Blue Nile is set to open its first physical location outside of New York City in an ongoing effort to reimagine the jewelry buying experience.

Seattle-based Blue Nile said it would open a store at Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County, Virginia by mid-summer as part of a strategy to open four locations this year.

Blue Nile, which generated sales last year of $480 million, entered the physical space in June 2015 at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York. The company said the location exceeded its expectations. It plans to open a second location by early summer at the Westchester Mall in White Plains, New York.

Blue Nile calls its stores “Webrooms,” which it describes as physical display rooms that reimagine the retail experience giving consumers yet another way to shop along with their PC, phone, or tablet. Unlike traditional jewelry stores, the spaces are designed to be highly efficient, and feature low overhead, and small footprints, according to the company. They give shoppers the ability to view the company’s products in person, while still enjoying the advantages of online prices, pressure-free advice, and extensive selection. All in-store transactions occur online, via in-store tablets and with the help of non-commissioned consultants.