Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE) is an online jewelry retailer.
Blue Nile, founded by Mark Vadon, focuses on sales of engagement rings to bachelors. On the premise that (typically) young men don't enjoy the process of buying their first diamond ring and don't feel empowered to make good decisions, Vadon built Blue Nile into the friendly answer focused on (company tagline) "Education. Guidance. Diamonds and Fine Jewelry."
In early 2008, Vadon stepped down as CEO (though he remains intimately involved as the company's Chairman) and was replaced in the executive suite by Diane Irvine, Blue Nile's long time CFO. Irvine shares Vadon's vision and passion for giving the customers a great jewelry buying experience. Under Irvine, Blue Nile has accelerated its international expansion, making inroads in Asia and Europe. International sales will be an important growth driver in coming years.
One of the appealing facets of Blue Nile for investors is that the company has an extremely light business model. It carries minimal inventory and is actually paid by its customers before it has to pay its suppliers, giving the firm a rare, and highly desirable, negative cash conversion cycle.