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Old 22-01-2015, 20:00   #31
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I just don't like how everything gets rebranded West Marine. I'm never sure if the quality gets transferred with the name or it just looks similar.

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Old 22-01-2015, 20:15   #32
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
no body said they were dropping the boating stuff,
Except the OP...

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
The discussion with him was that West Marine is slowly going out of the boating, especially the support for sailboats business, and concentrating more on lifestyle merchandising.
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Old 22-01-2015, 20:18   #33
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
This move may open up an opportunity for a mixed online and bricks and mortar store. But this time a real boater's store. Less emphasis on "lifestyle" crap and more things like marine hardware at online prices.
.
And How long would you expect to stay in business...
I've owned marine equeptment sales in the past and the profit made in the first 9 months of the year , we spent half of that profit to keep the store open durring the last three months of the year..
Sailboating is a seasonal market but the store has to continue throuout the year.
Even in the Marine Canvas shop, all our work came in durring the seasonal period time..
Its normal, and even in the best sail lofts, discounts are given durring off season to keep the business alive..
And to sell at online prices, in a dream world maybe but have you priced property lately, and who pays the overhead for the store when you are selling for on-line prices...
Many on-line stores dont even have inventory but instead have the products drop-shipped from the distributer.
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Old 22-01-2015, 20:21   #34
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Except the OP...
wont happen............
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Old 22-01-2015, 20:46   #35
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Good point about the West catalog. A few years ago I was asked to review a friend's friend's Nordic 44 electrical system before they took off on a race to Hawaii. I asked if they had a WM catalog onboard. The wife said, "Wow, lotsa people asked me that so we finally went out and got one!"

Their Advisor articles are quite good, and are also available online, too. I provide a lot of new skippers with links to it for good basic stuff. A very handy reference, as are any and all online chandleries as well as McMaster Carr, Jamestown Distributors and others.
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Old 22-01-2015, 21:25   #36
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Sounds like how Harley Davidson does business. First it was all about the motorcycle, now its all about the clothes/lifestyle. Once told to me by a gentleman (rip) who was a multi HD Dealer owner, "My dealerships make more money selling tshirts than we do selling motorcycles and parts."
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Old 22-01-2015, 22:04   #37
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
And How long would you expect to stay in business...
I've owned marine equeptment sales in the past and the profit made in the first 9 months of the year , we spent half of that profit to keep the store open durring the last three months of the year..
Sailboating is a seasonal market but the store has to continue throuout the year.
Even in the Marine Canvas shop, all our work came in durring the seasonal period time..
Its normal, and even in the best sail lofts, discounts are given durring off season to keep the business alive..
And to sell at online prices, in a dream world maybe but have you priced property lately, and who pays the overhead for the store when you are selling for on-line prices...
Many on-line stores dont even have inventory but instead have the products drop-shipped from the distributer.
All valid points but the last one is what I'm talking about. What prevented WM in my case trying to buy the ladder of selling it to me the same way? I.e. reasonably priced and drop-shipped from the distributor? If Joe-Shmoe can do it out of his house in Okee-Finokee why not the WM? I didn't expect them to stock it for me (although that's actually an item that would fly off the shelves if priced competitevely, IMO) but 2weeks at $239 vs 2 business days at $130 is not a good business model for the store. I would not mind if they sold it online at say $150 as I could use a coupon and they would make a sale. I don't think that the guy who sold one to me for $130 incl. postage was losing money, as it probably sold well under $100 from the maker. I'm not sure how we got to the point as a society when a business decides that it'd rather not make any sale than to make "only" 5-10-20% mark up. That's the real crux of the problem.
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Old 22-01-2015, 22:52   #38
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I watched all the speed shops close as it was taken over by a big chain,
and then the big chain turned into mostly selling wheels and tires (i.e. fashion),
and now speedparts pretty much all done online by a few big players.

Except Tognotti's Auto World speed shop. Family owned, and still in business in Sacramento after 42 years, still stocks all kinds of stuff, and is a busy place on the weekends I've been in there. They have prices competitive with online sources. They might sell more Honda exhausts than Buick camshafts today, but they are still around.
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Old 22-01-2015, 22:55   #39
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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WM has turned into a one stop shop for ALL your boating needs..
I needed antifreeze during the first week in November. I prefer to support the smaller local stores when I can but I was in hurry and there is a WM flagship store closer and I really wanted their -200 to reduce packaging waste. They didn't have anything, no -200, no -100, no -50, nothing! .. well, I could have got a tee shirt :-) They did tell me that there were a few cases at the next WM, 25 miles away. New England during the busy winterizing time and no antifreeze. No exactly a "one stop shop".
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Old 23-01-2015, 06:15   #40
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I have been in a couple of the flagship stores and they are a spectacle to behold but I still prefer shopping at the decidedly non-flagship Lighthouse Point store which also happens to be a five minute walk from my boat. Itís only about 2,000 square feet, if that, and really doesnít have much room for the lifestyle products. Not a single fishing rod, kayak, or paddleboard to be found there although they do have a small section for shoes and foulies. Where they excel is in having a really good selection of nuts, bolts, hoses, plumbing fittings, wire, crimps, etc. There are never more than two employees in the store and one of them is always a senior-level person who knows his stuff. The manager knows my name and is always glad I came. Due to this personal level of service, I feel that the store values me as a customer and, as a result, I probably give them more of my business than I would otherwise. By contrast, Iíve found the flagship stores have about equivalent selection in the hardware department but are mostly staffed by kids, some of whom literally donít know their bow from their aft, while the senior-level people seem to stay behind the scenes. Because my regular store is so far outside the pattern WM has followed over the past 5 or so years, I fear it could be on the chopping block, which would be a real loss for 2,000-plus slips within a few mile driving radius.

Also on the subject of flagship marine stores, didnít Boaterís World go down a similar road 15 or 20 years ago? I remember when they built Annapolis Harbor Center (a higher end strip mall anchored by Fresh Fields (predecessor to Whole Foods), Barnes & Noble, and one of the first Starbucks in the area), Boaters World was an anchor tenant with a large freestanding building right in the center of it all. The store certainly had a jaw-dropping effect compared to their competitors, but it didnít last long.
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Old 23-01-2015, 06:37   #41
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I can't imagine buying clothing West Marine. Gloves, if they are on sale and I am there for something else, but other wise there are better places. A bunch of ugly shirts and pants.


If I were interested in other "lifestyle" items--paddling, whatever--there are also better places.


I go there for small parts (the store is at the marina), parts/supplies I need right now, and things where the cost of shipping doesn't make sense.


I obviously am not their new demographic.
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Old 23-01-2015, 06:43   #42
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Maybe we're spoiled out here on the wet coast but I had to think for a minute to figure out where my nearest Worst Marine store even is. We've got any number of really good comprehensive locally owned stores - Fisheries in Seattle, Steveston in Vancouver, Trotac in Victoria, Harbour in Nanaimo - I could go on at length. West truly is my last resource and I couldn't give two craps for the clothing/lifestyle section. Just because a business has been around for a long time is no reason for it to continue to survive. If they're on their way out I won't miss them with the possible exception of the Anacortes store but I'm sure someone will step up to replace that one if it goes.
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Old 23-01-2015, 07:12   #43
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I didn't even know WN emphasized sailing to start with. At my local superstore WM I think only 1 aisle is just sailing stuff. Every other one is clothes and general BOATING related stuff.
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Old 23-01-2015, 07:21   #44
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I remember when they were an aggressive discounter back in the 80's and 90's. They drove a lot of small chandleries out of business because they had a better selection in stock and their prices were lower. No more. After taking about 8 years off from doing much boating, I was surprised that everything at WM seemed to now be priced at or near suggested retail. My first preference has always been our local Hamilton Marine but once in awhile I'd go with WM to save money. Now, there's not even any temptation because their prices are now usually at or above Hamilton's, although Hamilton's has also trended toward the profits first ahead of knowledgeable salespeople in their stores mentality. They've still got a few knowledgeable folks around but I see more and more kids who don't have a clue about the stuff they are selling.

It's a good thing for us boaters that through this all, Defender has kept their low prices and their customer service has actually improved over the years. If WM actually goes forward with their plan to become even more "boutique-y" and keep their high prices on actual boating hardware they do continue to carry, I predict that it won't be long at all before a BK filing. Short term, they will see increased profits from focusing on high margin items, but gradually, serious boaters will realize there's no real reason to visit their stores and the non-serious boating customers will come and go with the latest trends in clothing and fashion. Then, they will wonder why their stores full of high margin items are nearly empty.
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Old 23-01-2015, 08:49   #45
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Last year I used the remaining balance on my gift card from WM fearing that bankruptcy might not be far off.
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