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Old 28-04-2013, 11:01   #31
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
And your proof for all this is....
You see Defender drying up and going out of business? No, of course not. They seem to be competing just fine. And the brick-and-mortar chandleries that went away in my area all did so years before WM bought Boat US. Those that did not die are still in business here and in fact, several new ones have cropped-up in the last few years.

Now how 'bout you support your claims?
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Old 28-04-2013, 11:18   #32
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Re: West Marine getting worse

I doubt what you say about the mom n pops near you is true. And you ignore the complete disappearance of the BoatUS stores, many of which were in close proximity to WM stores, keeping them honest. Defender is hanging on, but so what. They are not expanding. Like I said, they can't compete on walkins. A lot of people on this thread have mentioned the convenience of being able to pop in and buy what is needed. Online stores don't provide that. These effects are why we have antitrust laws, and WM is considered a classic case of a blown opportunity. How do I know? from 20 years in that business. But I wouldn't expect a little knowledge to get in the way of one of your blind, thoughtless loyalties. I've seen you defend them to the death here before, and putting it right is not worth the effort.
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Old 28-04-2013, 11:39   #33
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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I doubt what you say about the mom n pops near you is true.
So your defense of your position is to call me a liar. That says much more about you than it does me.
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Old 28-04-2013, 11:53   #34
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Re: West Marine getting worse

Fstbttms, it's not about hate. I have a reasonable concept of customer service, have built well over 300 houses and numerous renovations. As a matter of fact, the cover story in the May issue of This Old House Magazine is about a renovation I did. My wife had a retail business for 28 years. A house is as personal or more so than a boat. Watching my wife compete with the growth of big box stores and online shopping makes me appreciate what retailers are going through. WM, Home Depot, etc, are making smaller retail stores look better everyday. I didn't get what I wanted, I got what I deserved and paid for. They were insinuating that if I hadn't had the extended warranty, they would only send the pump to Rule, and I would have to wait for Rule to send me a new one. That is not inline with what they profess to be their great customer service. My point is that the small, privately owned store would, as they said, do an over the counter exchange. $13 doesn't change my life in any way, but to be paying premium, you should get premium. As far as online shopping, I do very little, unless it is a company that I am familiar with, Like LL Bean, REI, Jamestown Distributers,etc. I also buy from Defender, usually by phone, or I go to their store when it is a larger purchase. What was also comical was the sales person said that debris gets caught in the float switch, which is why it may not work properly. There is no float switch, it is one of the automatic ones with some sort of sensor. He should know his product. Sent the wife in one time to get some nuts and bolts, and suggested she have a sales person help. Came back with several mismatched sizes, when they all were to be the same. Back she went, got the same guy and showed him the problem. He asked what kind of boat we have, and she said sail. He said, " I'm not familiar with any sailing stuff, I have a power boat.". It was nuts and bolts, and this is not made up. Still chuckle about that one.
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:10   #35
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Re: West Marine getting worse

I do not dispute that you are unlikely to get the same kind of customer service from a big-box store (regardless of what it is they sell) as you are from a mom-and-pop shop. But that doesn't mean West Marine doesn't occupy a needed place in the recreational boating supply market. They have a huge inventory, can get stock locally in a short time and their prices are competitive. West Marine/Port Supply are not the main vendor I buy from in my business, but they sure as hell have been there more than once with the part I need in a hurry when I'm not close to Svendsen's, where I do most of my wholesale buying. Further, WM carries inventory that I sometimes need that I simply can't buy off the shelf anywhere else locally.

I understand that some people (not you specifically) have an ax to grind with any retail corporation that comes in and threatens the established small businesses. For instance, although Starbucks opened a store on my town's plaza (and people gnashed their teeth and rended their garments about it), it didn't put any of the little local coffee shops (one of which is situated on the opposite side of the plaza) out of business. Nor did they go belly-up when Peet's opened on the very same plaza. That's three coffee shops on the same square block. They are all thriving. I don't believe that West Marine did serious damage to the small chandlery industry either. Those businesses that did go under were probably likely to do so anyway, IMHO.
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:27   #36
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Re: West Marine getting worse

Here in Denmark, I have yet to find a chandler who has what I need or want when I need it. In fact, that's retail in general. I'm aware it's because I have a very particular "taste", needs and wants, but as a result, I very rarily buy from physical shops these days - if they have to order it and I have to make a second visit to pick it up, I might as well buy it online.

It's funny, that most malls have at least one of those "mega stores". It seems to attract the public, making it possible for smaller stores to survive by the mere fact that more people pass through, if that makes sense. If a small shop has something to offer, it will survive (customer care, good advice, the products needed by the punters etc.).
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:35   #37
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Re: West Marine getting worse

"My momma told me, you'd better shop around"! I'm with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. I choose my suppliers,... sometimes online, sometimes new, sometimes used, and sometimes West Marine. My most recent use of West Marine was having them remake my headstay that they sent to their central rigging shop and returned it to a local store for me to pick up. They did great work and I did the rigging replacement work on the boat. There's always choices to be made. I'm not faithful to any one source. ....you'd better shop around!
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:38   #38
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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It's funny, that most malls have at least one of those "mega stores". It seems to attract the public, making it possible for smaller stores to survive by the mere fact that more people pass through, if that makes sense.
Here in the States, those "mega stores" in malls are called "anchors". They bring in the consumers who will then also spend money at the smaller satellite shops in the mall around them.
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:40   #39
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Re: West Marine getting worse

There is no dispute that WM has drastically reduced the number of boating stores out there. They took over all of the BoatUS and EB Marine stores, and then closed a bunch of them. In any case, that has been their avowed plan all along--to dominate the market, and they do in most of the country.

Many of us can remember when major boating harbors like Newport RI and Annapolis would have both a West and a BoatUS store, and they would be competing head to head on price and service.
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:43   #40
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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There is no dispute that WM has drastically reduced the number of boating stores out there. They took over all of the BoatUS and EB Marine stores, and then closed a bunch of them.
WM bought up relatively large competing chains and closed redundant retail locations. That's not the same as running the local mom-and-pop out of business.
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:43   #41
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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Here in the States, those "mega stores" in malls are called "anchors". They bring in the consumers who will then also spend money at the smaller satellite shops in the mall around them.
That's a great term! Thanks, I will remember that
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Old 28-04-2013, 13:43   #42
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Re: West Marine getting worse

Oh good. Now this is becoming an anchor thread. Thanks fstbttms!
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Old 28-04-2013, 13:47   #43
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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Oh good. Now this is becoming an anchor thread. Thanks fstbttms!
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Old 28-04-2013, 14:39   #44
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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I don't believe that West Marine did serious damage to the small chandlery industry either. Those businesses that did go under were probably likely to do so anyway, IMHO.
Fstbttms, do you remember Al's marine store at Pete's Harbor in Redwood City? Well, after WM opened there store #1 in Palo Alto, I needed to replace my propane stove. I got a quote from Al and WM. The WM price was much less. Al showed me the invoice from his distributor. Al's cost was more then WM's retail price. Al ended up moving to a new location to save money on rent and began selling RV stuff. He finally closed in the early '90s, I think.

Also, there was a large boat store on Broadway (?) in Redwood City and a smaller one on Main or Maple street. They both closed between the late '80s and mid '90s.

So, when the WM store in Palo Alto store closed a few years ago there was no local boat stores left to support 4 or 5 local marinas. I remember driving down to the WM store in San Jose to get parts.

There is now a new marine store in Redwood City and it is a WM. It is was opened just a year or two ago. They do carry boat stuff but seem to be focused on mostly selling clothing and water toys.

So, yes it was WM's business practices that put the local marine stores out of business.

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Old 28-04-2013, 14:47   #45
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Re: West Marine getting worse

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So, yes it was WM's business practices that put the local marine stores out of business.
There are several small chandleries in the East Bay that have managed to survive, even tho' they are within spitting distance of West Marine stores. But hell, even West Marine couldn't survive in your area. I think that speaks volumes.
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