Blue Nile launches UK Web site

Blue Nile on Tuesday announced the launch of its United Kingdom Web site found at www.bluenile.co.uk. The launch marks Blue Nile’s first overseas expansion and second international launch, following a successful deployment in Canada earlier this year.

Blue Nile in a statement said that a survey commissioned by Blue Nile and conducted by Harris Interactive “demonstrates consumers in the United Kingdom are seeking an alternative to the traditional diamond shopping process. Nearly one-third (29 percent) said they would purchase a diamond online.”

According to the survey, 35 percent of consumers say that jewelry salespeople are the top choice for researching a diamond. However, the Internet is a close second, with 26 percent of consumers listing it as their preferred resource on the subject. Eight percent of consumers listed books.

“We believe the UK consumer is currently being underserved by the UK jewelry industry,” said Mark Vadon, CEO of Blue Nile.

In addition to education, the site, like the U.S. site, provides tools to search, review, and compare and contrast more than 60,000 fine diamonds according to cut, clarity, color, carat weight, and price.

Blue Nile UK has modified its setting styles to reflect the taste of UK consumers, the company said. For example, the site will offer four and six claw solitaires for all diamond shapes in platinum, yellow gold, and white gold, in addition to the scroll design, a unique setting popular in the UK market.

The UK Web site also offers the company’s “Build Your Own” customization tool that allows consumers to design their own diamond engagement rings, earrings, diamond pendants, and diamond-trilogy rings. Blue Nile wedding bands will round out the UK collection.