Gem

Kay Jewelers parent Signet scoops up zillennial fave Blue Nile as retailers look to multichannel growth

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |

Shine bright like a (lab) diamond… Jewelry legend Signet is shelling out $360M in an all-cash deal to buy direct-to-consumer jewelry brand Blue Nile. Signet is the world’s largest diamond retailer whose portfolio includes Kay Jewelers, Jared, and Zales (you know the jingles). Blue Nile’s modern designs and lower prices have made it one of the largest online diamond retailers and a zillennial go-to. The specs:

  • Digital carat: Blue Nile started as an online-only jewelry brand in 1999 and now has nearly 3M customers and 18 showrooms in hubs like Atlanta and LA.
  • Clear cut: Blue Nile makes most of its $$ from engagement rings, and gained even more popularity after teaming up with lab-grown diamond brand Lightbox in 2020.

Every kiss begins with Kay... but it can only be Jared? US jewelry sales have more than doubled from prepandemic levels as consumers splurged on gold hoops and icy watches. But yesterday Signet cut its sales outlook for next year (and the stock plunged 12%) as econ worries threaten bling spend. Blue Nile’s digital dominance could help keep sales afloat, since more than half of Signet customers start shopping online.

THE TAKEAWAY

Multichannel fits all… Signet is trying to expand its "connected commerce” strategy — a frictionless shopping experience across sales channels (think: browsing in a showroom, then buying online). Since nearly all of Signet’s high-spending customers shop across channels, Blue Nile’s digital prowess could put it closer to its $9B annual sales goal. But the deal isn’t expected to close until next year.