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Filing: Blue Nile laying off workers and shutting down Seattle fulfillment center

The Blue Nile store at Washington Square in the Portland, Ore. area. (Blue Nile Photo)

Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile is shutting down a fulfillment center in Seattle and laying off 119 workers, according to a new filing with the Washington state Employment Security Department.

The layoffs are set to begin July 14, according to the filing.

We’ve reached out to the company for more details and will update when we hear back. Update: A statement from Signet is below.

Founded 24 years ago in Seattle, Blue Nile was acquired last year for $360 million by Signet Jewelers, which describes itself as the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry.

The acquisition was announced just a few months after Blue Nile said it was going public in a $683 million SPAC deal that was ultimately terminated.

Signet, which also owns Jared, Kay Jewelers, Zales, and other brands, saw same store sales drop by 9.1% to $7.8 billion in its most recent quarter.

Blue Nile was an e-commerce pioneer co-founded in 1999 by entrepreneur and investor Mark Vadon. It went public in 2004 but was taken private by Bain Capital and Bow Street in a $500 million deal seven years ago.

In addition to its online storefront, Blue Nile has more than 25 physical showrooms across the country. The company reported more than $500 million in revenue in 2021.

Blue Nile is currently led by Seattle-based CEO Sean Kell, a former Expedia exec and CEO at A Place for Mom.

Update: A Signet spokesperson provided this statement:

“As part of the integration of Blue Nile, we will be reducing duplicative fulfillment center services to centralize these services within our existing New York City fulfillment center over the coming months. This change unfortunately impacts the roles of some of our Blue Nile team members. We are providing our impacted team members with outplacement and support services, and where appropriate, some team members have been offered a relocation package to join our operations in New York City, or are exploring other roles throughout the company including those in our Seattle operations.“


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