SEATTLE, March 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Nile (Nasdaq:NILE), the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, today announced the appointment of Harvey Kanter as Chief Executive Officer and President, effective March 30, 2012. Mr. Kanter will also be appointed to Blue Nile's Board of Directors, effective March 30, 2012.
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Mark Vadon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Blue Nile, will assist in Mr. Kanter's transition. Interim Chief Executive Officer Vijay Talwar has been appointed Blue Nile's General Manager and President of International, and will lead Blue Nile's international business.
Mr. Kanter brings more than 25 years of merchandising and retail experience to lead Blue Nile's recently announced growth strategy. Prior to joining Blue Nile, Mr. Kanter served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel, Inc., a leading multichannel retailer of premium outdoor apparel and gear. Under his leadership, Mr. Kanter developed Moosejaw's enhanced brand architecture and market positioning by clearly defining the merchandising, marketing, and consumer experience strategy and initiatives. During his tenure, Moosejaw experienced double-digit revenue growth and was the recipient of numerous industry awards, including: Internet Retailer Hot 100 and Hot 100 Mobile, and Ad Age Top 50 Marketing Company, among many others.
Before Moosejaw, Mr. Kanter served as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Michaels Stores, the nation's largest craft store chain in the United States and Canada, with nearly $4 billion in annual sales. While at Michaels, Mr. Kanter led the overhaul of the company's product merchandising and was responsible for product trend development.
"Harvey brings a vibrant leadership style and a unique ability to align product strategy and marketing in such a way that inspires consumers," said Blue Nile Chairman Mark Vadon. "His dynamism and passion, coupled with his experience in online and traditional retail, are just what we need to drive growth and inspire the next generation of Blue Nile customers. After an extensive search, our Board of Directors decided that Harvey is the best candidate to lead our company at this exciting time."
"I am excited about joining Blue Nile, the undisputed online leader in fine jewelry. I am equally excited about working with such an impressive executive team; a team that, in little more than a decade, created a business and brand recognized worldwide," said Mr. Kanter. "As I lead the company through its next phase of growth, I look forward to serving Blue Nile's current and future diamond engagement ring and fine jewelry customers by adhering to the philosophy that has made the company great – offer tremendous value on fine jewelry created to the highest quality standards in a no-pressure, information-rich environment that places the customer in charge of the shopping process."
Harvey Kanter Biographical Information
With more than 25 years of experience across stores, digital, and multichannel retail environments, as well as expertise as a merchant, Harvey Kanter is an innovative and results-driven leader focused on corporate strategy and execution. Mr. Kanter served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel, Inc., a leading multichannel retailer of premium outdoor apparel and gear. Before joining Moosejaw, he served as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Michaels Stores. During Mr. Kanter's tenure, Michaels operated as North America's largest craft store chain with 963 stores in the United States and Canada, and $3.9 billion in annual sales. Mr. Kanter also served as President of Aaron Brothers, Art and Framing, a division of Michaels. With 165 stores under his direction, Aaron Brothers was then the nation's largest U.S. specialty retail chain offering custom framing, wall and photo frames, photo albums, wall décor, and art supplies. Previously, he served at some of the nation's most storied retail businesses, including Eddie Bauer, Carter Hawley Hale, and Sears. Mr. Kanter holds a MBA in Marketing and Organizational Behavior from Babson College and a B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University.
About Blue Nile, Inc.
Blue Nile, Inc. is the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry. The Company delivers the ultimate customer experience, providing consumers with a superior way to buy engagement rings, wedding rings and fine jewelry. Blue Nile offers in-depth educational materials and unique online tools that place consumers in control of the jewelry shopping process. The Company has some of the highest quality standards in the industry and offers thousands of independently certified diamonds and fine jewelry at prices significantly below traditional retail. Blue Nile can be found online at www.bluenile.com, www.bluenile.ca and www.bluenile.co.uk. Blue Nile's shares are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the symbol NILE.
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