Stores aren't going away, but their role keeps evolving

the web isn’t for everyone, says David Olsen, Blue Nile’s senior vice president of strategy, analytics and retail.

In late 2020, Blue Nile shifted its business model, opening showrooms in California, Colorado and Illinois. As of last month,
the retailer had 18 stores, including a newly opened, super-sized “flagship” store at the Houston Galleria shopping center. Blue Nile plans eight more stores in 2022 and another 10 to 20 in 2023.

“We want people to interact with Blue Nile any way they want,” Olsen says.

The best way to do that, he says, is to adopt an omnichannel model, allowing shoppers to interact with Blue Nile’s people and
products on their own terms.

The role of stores keeps evolving as born-on-the-web brands like Blue Nile use physical shops to reach new customers and deepen relationships with current ones. Meanwhile, store-based retailers like Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. increasingly use their big-box locations as more than just on-site shopping venues. Stores have evolved into distribution hubs and staging areas for online orders for shipping, pickup and on-demand local delivery.

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