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Old 26-02-2015, 19:43   #166
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
From what I see in this thread there is a big difference between WM in the east and the west. The stores I shop in have all the same marine items as they always have. From high end electronics to screws and bolts. My store in Dana Point has a work bench, wire cutters, a vice, and good advice on using the items. I don't get that with Defender. I guess you in the east have a different store to shop in. Is ACE hardware cheaper on some items?YES! My Ace hardware has a really poor inventory of lid, bbb chain, stainless rigging. Buy the wrong part? I've never had a problem returning anything at WM. Try shipping the mistake back to defender. Brag about not paying sales tax... When your town needs pavement, police or fire departments call Defender.
I often over buy what I need from defender. Never had a problem returning anything. The WM stores here in MA are more like the Gap than a marine store, it is actually frightening.

You CAN'T buy anything at WM, as they have nothing in stock anymore. There ARE many times I WOULD pay the stupid extra cost at WM just to have it now. but I can't. If I have to order it, might as well be from the fastest source, which is defender, and save some cash to boot
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Old 26-02-2015, 19:59   #167
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by savoir View Post
Beats me how you can say that. Here are price comparisons from their websites of a few common sailboat items:

1/2" Samson LS D 89c W $1.30
3/8" Samson Warpspeed D $2.50 W $3.27
Gill OS1 Jacket D $595 W $595
Icom 324G VHF D $235 W $260
1 gallon Pettit Trinidad D $240 W $285
Mustang Life Jacket 3183 D $290 W $355
Manson Supreme 45 lb D $490 W $520
8 hp Mercury D $1800 W $2000

I agree and half the time your gonna wait for what you want for a week, from WM.
It's worth Defenders shipping if you combine purchases.
Unless you buy normal chandlery items.
Then WM, is expensive but pretty available.



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Old 26-02-2015, 21:08   #168
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
... The stores I shop in have all the same marine items as they always have. From high end electronics to screws and bolts. My store in Dana Point has a work bench, wire cutters, a vice, and good advice on using the items.
I'll disagree a bit. The level of inventory in the Dana Point store is dwindling. Go by 4 1" SS rings. You can't. They only ever have 2. I needed blocks for lazy jacks. Nope - they only had one.

They do have a large selection of nuts-and-bolts hardware, and being a small store they're not gonna have a huge lifestyle section (And no fishing gear, IIRC). The folks that work there are quite good. But if I need something from WM I'll start in Oceanside ('cause I drive by often), then DP, then Newport. Case in point: I need a new waste deck fill. It's $49 at West, about $30 online. Oceanside, out of stock (of the ONE that they stock). Haven't checked the Dana store yet, will likely just order it for $20 less.

I'll stop by minnies on the way into Newport.. Just to wander around. I bought 2 brand new lewmar 40ST's at minnies on a whim - they had a price that was too good to be true. I'll support the local guys.

It's not just WM. Heck, home depot does the same thing. If they don't sell a ton of them, they don't carry it. I get so frustrated trying to pick up simple plumbing or electrical parts at HD. Too bad HD/Lowes pushed out all the good independents. Same thing with Radio Shack - I read an article that said radio shack failed because there's no longer hobbyists. Bull - look at how many rasberry pi's are out there. They failed because they didn't have anything anybody wanted.

Lots of folks will support local stores, if it's less of a PITA than ordering off the net. When management makes shopping locally painful, it's bankruptcy time.
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Old 26-02-2015, 21:18   #169
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
all this hate posting, but you guys are going to come a time you will be sorry if you never buy anything from WM
Man. I couldn't agree more. We're very fortunate here in Kemah, with an awesome WM. The staff is great. Quite a few knowledgeable cruisers working here. Not all WM's are the same, but ours has a rigging department, and expert guys working behind the counter....and up many masts in the area. Other than specialized items, it's in stock here. I'm a "touchy-feely" kind of guy. They appreciate my business, and so far do a fine job of earning it. Here's a pic of our last trip to WM before we sold our last car, and went cruising -

Click image for larger version

Name:	Mini with <a title=dinghy, motor, and anchor.jpg Views: 54 Size: 418.8 KB ID: 97991" style="margin: 2px" />

I used to work in a hobby shop, specializing in radio control model aircraft. Nothing pissed me off more than spending an hour or two answering questions, giving advice, and encouraging a customer....to find that person some time later at the flying field after buying online because it was cheaper. Plenty of mom and pop shops are gone these days, just like the one I worked at that had been in business for 30 years.

I gotta say though, that I've been in some pretty piss-poor WM's. To have a full inventory, it's got to be a big market area. It's a tough deal for any retailer.

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Old 26-02-2015, 21:19   #170
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
I'll disagree a bit. The level of inventory in the Dana Point store is dwindling. Go by 4 1" SS rings. You can't. They only ever have 2. I needed blocks for lazy jacks. Nope - they only had one.

They do have a large selection of nuts-and-bolts hardware, and being a small store they're not gonna have a huge lifestyle section (And no fishing gear, IIRC). The folks that work there are quite good. But if I need something from WM I'll start in Oceanside ('cause I drive by often), then DP, then Newport. Case in point: I need a new waste deck fill. It's $49 at West, about $30 online. Oceanside, out of stock (of the ONE that they stock). Haven't checked the Dana store yet, will likely just order it for $20 less.

I'll stop by minnies on the way into Newport.. Just to wander around. I bought 2 brand new lewmar 40ST's at minnies on a whim - they had a price that was too good to be true. I'll support the local guys.

It's not just WM. Heck, home depot does the same thing. If they don't sell a ton of them, they don't carry it. I get so frustrated trying to pick up simple plumbing or electrical parts at HD. Too bad HD/Lowes pushed out all the good independents. Same thing with Radio Shack - I read an article that said radio shack failed because there's no longer hobbyists. Bull - look at how many rasberry pi's are out there. They failed because they didn't have anything anybody wanted.

Lots of folks will support local stores, if it's less of a PITA than ordering off the net. When management makes shopping locally painful, it's bankruptcy time.
Interesting is that my local ACE Hardware store not only carries almost anything I need to renovate or fix around my condo, but they are price competitive, often less than HD or Lowes. I support them as much as possible when I am down here in Florida. Up in Canada, the local (well, 35 miles away is local where I live) Home Hardware fulfills 90% of my needs at less than the Home Depot which is 60 miles away in a much larger center.

I'll support local when possible, but it has to be competitive. I'll support bricks and mortar when possible, but if they are not competitive, they better have a value proposition that makes sense. Like availability. Like quality.
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Old 26-02-2015, 22:25   #171
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Look, it isn't a matter of just choosing to buy or not without any other considerations. While I may think West Marine is the devil incarnate due to my experiences working there, I'm prepared to buy what I want/need from any store. West Marine included, but not at any price. If West eventually goes down the tubes it will be because it failed to listen to it's target consumers. Pure and simple.
Actually thats exactally what they have done... and the profits show this..

Today was my last day there, so I'll just let you guys keep up the bitchen, as I'm headed south........ See ya In Mexico
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Old 27-02-2015, 10:32   #172
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Actually thats exactally what they have done... and the profits show this..

Today was my last day there, so I'll just let you guys keep up the bitchen, as I'm headed south........ See ya In Mexico
Well. I doubt that if West Marine is profitable it's because they have defied fundamental marketing principles. Important parts of creating and maintaining a business includes asking questions and evaluating answers. Is there likely to be sufficient demand for your product or service, and at what price are people willing to buy? Keeping a business viable and profitable requires these questions be revisited time and again. Surveys - and tracking customer buying behaviour are standard methods for gathering data used to determine product mix, set stock levels, pricing, staff levels, work schedules and more.

If I understand your message correctly - that West Marine is profitable precisely because it has ignored complaints from the sailing public - it defies common sense. Moreso, it reflects poorly upon the business acumen and skills among West Marine planners and management.

They, no doubt, will be the first to disagree with your position and provide other reasons West Marine remains profitable. If they cared to listen to you, that is.

Have fun in Mexico and forever remain alert to the constantly changing rules and regulations.
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Old 27-02-2015, 20:34   #173
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Exclamation Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post
I often over buy what I need from defender. Never had a problem returning anything. The WM stores here in MA are more like the Gap than a marine store, it is actually frightening.

You CAN'T buy anything at WM, as they have nothing in stock anymore. There ARE many times I WOULD pay the stupid extra cost at WM just to have it now. but I can't. If I have to order it, might as well be from the fastest source, which is defender, and save some cash to boot
Went to WM Dana Point today to pick up my Caframo fan blades and you are exactly right. Defender was cheaper. WM got $8.79. Defender was $7.99. You're right again. I did have to order them and it did come the next day. Oh, I forgot to mention Defender wants $7.60 as the cheapest shipping which is UPS ground. 5-6 days ( If there isn't a holiday included ).

So, let's see.... $15.59 from Defender and $8.79 plus 8% tax total of $9.49 from WM. $6.10 savings in my book. And in my pocket . But more important to me is that the project is done. The caveats that I could have had it mailed to my door and not paid sales tax but I'm not ambulatory and my nearest store is less than a mile from my boat.
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Old 27-02-2015, 20:51   #174
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Mail order from anyone doesn't work on small purchases. The freight always gets you.
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Old 27-02-2015, 21:03   #175
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Mail order from anyone doesn't work on small purchases. The freight always gets you.
Works for Amazon.



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Old 27-02-2015, 21:27   #176
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
Went to WM Dana Point today to pick up my Caframo fan blades and you are exactly right. Defender was cheaper. WM got $8.79. Defender was $7.99. You're right again. I did have to order them and it did come the next day. Oh, I forgot to mention Defender wants $7.60 as the cheapest shipping which is UPS ground. 5-6 days ( If there isn't a holiday included ).

So, let's see.... $15.59 from Defender and $8.79 plus 8% tax total of $9.49 from WM. $6.10 savings in my book. And in my pocket . But more important to me is that the project is done. The caveats that I could have had it mailed to my door and not paid sales tax but I'm not ambulatory and my nearest store is less than a mile from my boat.
As they say YMMV. I am in one day shipping zone from Defender. UPS ground is cheap and fast from CT to MA (under 1 to 1 day, 2 at the worst)

For me, its less expensive for just about anything from D including shipping.

To me, its not the money. For most small priced items, If I want something now, WM doesnt have it in the store, why should I pay more and wait longer for the same item? If WM had the item i would pay their price for it..as it cost money to inventory it. But they generally dont stock it, so I dont buy it. Surely am not going to pay more for it

Somehow, I do end up buying a $5 discontinued Tshirt or 2 every time i go in though.. so there is something to them turning into a clothing store..
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Old 28-02-2015, 06:56   #177
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Maybe there's a possibility for someone who doesn't need quite the profit that WM evidently feels they need to get into a little niche supplying things for marine use ... kinda like the "mom & pop", store for marina parts.

I'm fully aware also that many small, independent marina stores have faltered through the past 10-15 years, but I think most of those stores had an almost WM attitude toward pricing and profit ... even defender is not in any way "discount".

Maybe the sail/power marina shops of the future(if there are any), will have to be much more innovative and mindful that huge profits are not to be made in the internet world ... at least not huge enough profits to justify a high-costing store front, employees and stockrooms, while still carrying home enough profit to live very comfortably on.

After all, it is all about profit ... the amount of profit ... and satisfying the stockholders who always want profit ... NOW!

Clothes and other wearing apparel, along with trinket things might be the way to go in this market ... after all people readily pay $1 for a pint of bottled water(that probably is less drinkable than nasty smelling, clorinated "city", water) and gripe about the $2.50 gas prices ... for WHOLE gallon.

I can see the day when WM, is known as the marina's clothier for the sailing/boating, well to do, "gentleman".

Maybe Walmart and Target will add a few more feet of shelving space for more marine stuff?
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Old 28-02-2015, 09:45   #178
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

If you're of modest means, you've probably noticed there's been a distinct shift in your favourite stores toward stocking so-called 'luxury' items. Intrinsically their value is no greater than other products carried in the past, but are packaged and presented in such a way they appeal to 'monied' folks. Groceries, clothing, boats, cars - you name it - the trend is clear. "Luxury' items can sometimes carry prices anyone but the wealthy among us will consider rediculously high. West Marine, like other retailers is targeting the wealthy in America because it is the only economic group to have amassed even more wealth in spite of recent worldwide economic problems. And the wealthy don't buy boat bits and pieces. They buy megayachts and lifestyle clothing that enhance their image as an influential (because money talks), powerful and successful (by classic capitalistic standards) 'entrepeneur'.

From the New York Times, February 06, 2015:

"Fast-growing industries, like technology and energy, are transforming cities like Houston, Dallas and San Jose, Calif., into some of the densest aggregations of wealth in the world. Since 2012, the number of high-net-worth individuals has jumped as much as 20 percent in Dallas and 18 percent in Houston, according to a Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management tally.

Propelled by market gains and a skewed economic recovery, the United States’ share of the world’s superrich is rebounding. Since mid-2013, the number of millionaires in the United States has grown by 1.6 million, by far the biggest increase in the world and dwarfing the 90,000 Chinese who crossed the million-dollar mark since then, Credit Suisse estimates.

In 2014, Americans with net wealth of more than $50 million outnumbered their Chinese counterparts eight to one. And the United States is set to remain by far the wealthiest country, Credit Suisse says, with aggregate wealth of over $114 trillion in 2019.

Luxury retailers now see America’s ultrarich, over Hong Kong magnates or Russian moguls, as their biggest drivers of growth."
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Old 28-02-2015, 09:56   #179
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

When I was young I worked at an outdoor retail store. About 2/3 of inventory was real outdoor gear and 1/3 apparel that most people would in reality buy or everyday use, which is of course where most of the store profits came from.

The manager looked at that and concluded, that reversing those proportions would increase profits. What happened of course is that the store became just another clothing store and lost most of it's customer base and went out of business in less than a year.

Focusing only on what items produce the most profit is an over simplified view.
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Old 28-02-2015, 11:57   #180
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Go into almost any store now-a-days and you'll notice that ... oddball stuff that used to be on the shelf, is, no longer.

If baseball mitts sell, but baseballs don't, you'll find the mitts, but maybe not, the baseballs.

The cleaning chemicals in a hardware store won't carry the items that don't sell often enough, even though customers might need those particular items.

I first noticed this back in about 2003-2005, when music stores' inventory was constantly changing. Items that didn't sell quickly disappeared while items that would sell were had in abundance.

Being an old fogy(music-wise), I noticed that each time I went to the music store ... on a bi-weekly basis, all the music I had interest in was becoming increasingly "not available", unless I wanted to "order it".

I suppose this is why WM is going to what people ... on a more daily basis ... and for those with "money" to actually spend, are choosing to put more and more items that people "with money" want to walk out of the stores with ... on the shelf, while those of us who buy things only/and when we actually "really need" them ... well ... we can get it, but the items is not worthy of the costly shelf space and so, we'll just have to wait.

Gone are the days when I would spend an hour walking in a hardware store trying to jerry-rig a number of items, otherwise independently, completely un-related to one-another, into a usable item of need.

The various components that in the past, held an almost sacred spot on some shelf in a not-often visited portion of the store, just are not profitable enough to be taking up the space anymore ... those days are pretty much gone, and I really miss them.
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