July 9, 2002, 12:00 AM

Online jeweler Blue Nile’s revenues rise 37% for the quarter

Build Your Own features that offer customization online helped drive sales of $15 million. The company also says it was profitable for the third quarter in a row.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Online jeweler Blue Nile Inc. reports revenues rose 37% for the quarter ended June 30 over the year-ago quarter, posting sales of $15 million. The two-and-a-half year-old company also says it’s the third consecutive quarter of profitability, although it did not disclose profits for the quarter. For its first profitable quarter at the end of last year, Blue Nile reported an operating profit of $1.1 million or 6.5%.

Driving growth on the site, which focuses heavily on the marketing of high-ticket diamond engagement rings, are innovations that enhance consumers` control of the shopping process, Blue Nile says. A Build You Own function allows customers to choose elements to create their own diamond rings, earrings and pendants. This functionality has been so popular that the company says it plans to roll out additional customization features in the near future.

Blue Nile offers shoppers a selection of some 11,000 diamonds at prices 20% to 40% below retail prices, along with in-depth product education to assist them in making purchases with confidence. “Traditionally, consumers have not had access to comprehensive jewelry product information,” says Mark Vadon, CEO. “Blue Nile gives consumers full disclosure on product and price, while offering the ability to use our Build Your Own features to create and select jewelry pieces according to their wants and budgets.”

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