- About seven months after being acquired by Signet Jewelers, direct-to-consumer diamond brand Blue Nile announced it will lay off 119 employees in Seattle, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice filed with Washington state.
- The layoffs will start July 14 and represent a permanent closure, per the notice.
- “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,” a Signet Jewelers spokesperson said in a statement to Retail Dive. “This change unfortunately impacts the roles of some of our Blue Nile team members.”
While 119 workers will be laid off, Blue Nile’s parent company is hoping to provide support for those impacted.
“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,” the company spokesperson said.
Blue Nile’s layoffs come amid mixed earnings results from its parent company.
Total sales globally were down 5.2% year over year to $2.7 billion in Signet’s fourth quarter, according to a press release earlier this month. Comparable sales were down 9.1%, and operating income dropped to $369.5 million from $402.4 million. For its full fiscal year, Signet reported that total sales were up 0.2% year over year, but comps were down 6.1%.
Signet acquired competitor Blue Nile in August for $360 million. The decision was made in order to help grow the company’s “accessible luxury” category, and it followed Signet’s acquisition of Diamonds Direct in 2021. At the time of the acquisition, Signet said Blue Nile had made about half a billion dollars in sales during 2021.
“We believe that both Diamonds Direct and Blue Nile are integrating well and are benefitting from Signet’s economies of scale and its strong direct to consumer expertise,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said in Dec. “We also think that Signet is learning from the showroom model that Blue Nile employs and is looking for ways to replicate some of this within its core business.”
Blue Nile joined Signet after a failed attempt to go public through a SPAC deal, which was initially announced in June. The deal with special purpose acquisition company Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II was meant to close in the fourth quarter.
In 2020, Blue Nile announced plans to open 50 showrooms over the course of three years. At the time of publication, the brand listed 27 U.S. showroom locations on its website.