SEATTLE, June 11, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Nile (Nasdaq:NILE), the leading online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, today announced that Julie Yoakum will join the company as Chief Merchandising Officer effective June 25, 2012. Yoakum will report to Blue Nile President and Chief Executive Officer Harvey Kanter. She will lead the Company's merchandising strategy, including trend identification, product design, sourcing, and inventory planning and management.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Julie to Blue Nile as our head merchant," said Kanter. "Julie's broad trend expertise combined with her deep experience in assortment planning and merchandising will guide and evolve our product strategy to position Blue Nile as the world's leading online fine jeweler and as one of the greatest brands in the jewelry category."
Yoakum combines more than 20 years of experience in merchandising and product design and development with strong creative, leadership, and business skills. She started her career at Eddie Bauer, where she spent nearly 18 years rising through the merchandising ranks in progressively increasing roles and becoming the Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Product Development, and Sourcing. In that role, Yoakum oversaw a team of 300 and was responsible for a $1.0 billion business leading product strategy that underscored Eddie Bauer's brand proposition across more than 500 retail stores, as well as the company's catalog, online, apparel, and outlet businesses.
"Blue Nile is one of those rare companies with a unique business model and superior customer proposition that grows quickly to the top of its industry," said Yoakum. "As a merchant who values innovation and premium quality products, the very things that Blue Nile stands for, I can't imagine a better place to be."
Most recently, Yoakum was Account Service Director at Hornall Anderson Design Work, Seattle, WA, managing projects for the firm's top Fortune 500 companies including Starbucks Coffee Company, The Hershey Company, McKesson Corporation, The Limited, and Del Monte Foods.
Yoakum earned a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Oregon.
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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