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Old 01-02-2015, 08:41   #106
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

seems weird that people who say they don't spend money at WM would have anything really to say about their changing their business plan or what they stock at the stores
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:58   #107
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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seems weird that people who say they don't spend money at WM would have anything really to say about their changing their business plan or what they stock at the stores
I spent thousands there a year til they changed their price match policy.. because they would always match reputable online retailers without hesitation.

WM used to be decent, especially in the larger stores (like New Bedford), for an emergency part...But they stock so little now at the stores, that almost anything you need, especially sailing stuff... is a special order.

If you want a tshirt.. you are golden! If you want a NMEA cable, you are screwd!

If they brought back their price match policy, I would buy more there.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:34   #108
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I like the Anacortes store. Quick walk from the marina, generally has normal everyday non unique parts in stock. Can get things next day generally. Their prices are very high BUT if you can either get a Port Supply account or get someone to let you use theirs, the prices are below online vendors in some cases. Not an across the board discount but smart shopping on bigger ticket items yields some significant savings thru Port Supply. You don't get the award certificates but those don't represent much in savings.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:45   #109
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

The WM I normally go to in Woburn MA has most of what I would expect in the everyday parts etc. including a whole aisle of sailboat rigging parts. It's one of their "superstores" and I've spent plenty of cash there over the years (I do have a Port Supply card). But, I've never bought a shirt or pair of shorts there (I have gotten shoes).

Far as I'm concerned the stock in the store is excellent for everyday items. I don't really expect them to stock bigger items that I'm going to internet shop for.

If people don't like them don't shop there. But don't then start complaining about what they stock. Their job is to sell stuff, not stock stuff for your use every once in a while.
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Old 02-02-2015, 13:05   #110
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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If people don't like them don't shop there. But don't then start complaining about what they stock. Their job is to sell stuff, not stock stuff for your use every once in a while.
I don't think it's really up to you to decide what everyone else is entitled to complain about. Lots of folks USED to shop at WM a lot and it was a nice convenience because they usually had a pretty good supply of useful stuff on hand and they'd price match. But now that they've turned away from that formula, lots of sailors who don't have unlimited money to spend or time to wait for parts, but would LIKE to still be WM customers like they were for so many years, have had to find other businesses to shop at, so it's not a big surprise that they're unhappy and complaining.
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Old 02-02-2015, 13:15   #111
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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I don't think it's really up to you to decide what everyone else is entitled to complain about.
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Old 02-02-2015, 13:15   #112
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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I don't think it's really up to you to decide what everyone else is entitled to complain about. Lots of folks USED to shop at WM a lot and it was a nice convenience because they usually had a pretty good supply of useful stuff on hand and they'd price match. But now that they've turned away from that formula, lots of sailors who don't have unlimited money to spend or time to wait for parts, but would LIKE to still be WM customers like they were for so many years, have had to find other businesses to shop at, so it's not a big surprise that they're unhappy and complaining.
So true.

Maybe the Big Honchos at WM oughta read this topic instead of depending on their "consultants"

The Race to the Bottom Line always ends up screwing their very own customers.
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Old 02-02-2015, 14:32   #113
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Anyone want to guess how many of those eager to criticize WM's business model also do much of their shopping on the Internet?

My bet is a lot.

It's so easy to whine about WM. It is an annual tradition on this forum.
No doubt someone will entertain us with his attempt to support some other brick/mortor store, the majority don't.

If you want to see the real problem here, look in a mirror.
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Old 02-02-2015, 15:10   #114
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Anyone want to guess how many of those eager to criticize WM's business model also do much of their shopping on the Internet?

My bet is a lot.

It's so easy to whine about WM. It is an annual tradition on this forum.
No doubt someone will entertain us with his attempt to support some other brick/mortor store, the majority don't.

If you want to see the real problem here, look in a mirror.
For 2 decades, over 3 boats I have owned, WM was my go-to store - always had good service, decent selection, and price matched (like virtually every retailer out there). Half the time I didn't bother, but for some expensive items, I would have them price match, and they always did it with a smile.

But I refuse to pay $35 for a pint of paint where Defender, et al, has it for $18.

Now that they turned into 'The Gap', the point is moot, as they have no inventory of anything but very run of the mill stuff. Special orders take longer to arrive than if I ordered from defender (usually at the door of my house) in 2 days, often in 1 (if ordered early in the day).

I am not outright boycotting them, I just can't afford to pay retail+50% to buy from WM all the time.

It is 2 fold for me - no price match and no inventory other than baseball hats and tshirts. No, seriously, go visit the New Bedford store, It is the Gap (but marked up 50% more!)
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Old 02-02-2015, 15:28   #115
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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But I refuse to pay $35 for a pint of paint where Defender, et al, has it for $18.
Here's the thing; when I go to WM to get a can of paint that I can get for $18 from Defender that means I want and need the paint now and am willing and glad to pay $35 for it in the WM store to have now. That's the nature of a store that has had to pay to maintain a store and employees.
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Old 02-02-2015, 16:26   #116
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Agree... i am willing to pay a premium when I need something now...like the other day i was trying to get a NMEA cable.. i couldnt believe they had none in stock...even though I would have paid a premium to have it now.. but they didnt.. heck.. if im going to wait.. i might as well get a price break , and get it faster from defender!

but again, its moot..as the store looks more like a going out of business sale than a marine store.

Most jobs I plan out in advance.. but its nice to have a local shop to get parts that you might have missed.. but lately that hasnt happened, as they have to order it..takes 2+ days, then i got to go in and get it.. or order from defender and have it at my door inside 24 hours in most cases.

Unsure of all boaters, i just cant afford WMs very high prices, especially when reputable competition is so much less expensive, and often faster delivery

I am a WM fan, just wish they would bring back the price match, and have a reasonable selection in the store..

everyone has their criteria .. mine is price and availability. I rarely ask an employee for advice.. Other people may want assistance with their project, and can afford to wait, and pay a premium for it..thats fine too..

Conservatively, I save about $500 or so a year (usually more) by being a frugal shopper.. only way i can afford the boat.. keep costs low and doing work myself.

It IS possible to have reasonable prices, reasonable policies and still make money..

But since WM is going more for a 'Boating lifestyle' rather than for actual boaters.. they are making the decision for us, again, its a moot point.
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Old 02-02-2015, 17:40   #117
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Anyone want to guess how many of those eager to criticize WM's business model also do much of their shopping on the Internet?

My bet is a lot.

It's so easy to whine about WM. It is an annual tradition on this forum.
No doubt someone will entertain us with his attempt to support some other brick/mortor store, the majority don't.

If you want to see the real problem here, look in a mirror.
I'll go on record as one of those who isn't attempting to "support" ANY brick and mortar store, OR any online store either, though if you could see my credit card statements you'd probably doubt both. I don't care who from, but I just want to be able to buy stuff my boat needs and feel like I'm not paying more than anyone else in the whole world has ever paid for it and if I'm going to have to pay a little more than it's available for online, I'd like to have it sooner than I could get it from an online discounter. Is that "the real problem" or is it that WM cleaned out most of the competition by matching everyone else's prices to get market share, but then didn't know what to do with it once they got it, and instead decided to become a boating boutique? I'm not anti WM at all, but just think it's very shortsighted and also a tactical mistake for them to turn away from those of us who have spent a lot of money in their stores in the past and would undoubtedly spend a lot more if they remained a viable option.
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Old 02-02-2015, 17:56   #118
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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I'll go on record as one of those who isn't attempting to "support" ANY brick and mortar store, OR any online store either, though if you could see my credit card statements you'd probably doubt both. I don't care who from, but I just want to be able to buy stuff my boat needs and feel like I'm not paying more than anyone else in the whole world has ever paid for it and if I'm going to have to pay a little more than it's available for online, I'd like to have it sooner than I could get it from an online discounter. Is that "the real problem" or is it that WM cleaned out most of the competition by matching everyone else's prices to get market share, but then didn't know what to do with it once they got it, and instead decided to become a boating boutique? I'm not anti WM at all, but just think it's very shortsighted and also a tactical mistake for them to turn away from those of us who have spent a lot of money in their stores in the past and would undoubtedly spend a lot more if they remained a viable option.
I've been in two WM stores in the last month in different states. Didn't see any big difference in merchandise or in sailing equipment available. No"boating boutique" or Gap" evidence in either.

I'm wondering if one guy posts some conjecture and it triggered an outbreak of SAD (sailing affected disorder equiv to seasonally affected disorder) coupled with some latent paranoia.

Regardless, it wouldbe more constructive to voice any valid concerns to their management than whine about it here.
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Old 02-02-2015, 18:51   #119
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
I've been in two WM stores in the last month in different states. Didn't see any big difference in merchandise or in sailing equipment available. No"boating boutique" or Gap" evidence in either.

I'm wondering if one guy posts some conjecture and it triggered an outbreak of SAD (sailing affected disorder equiv to seasonally affected disorder) coupled with some latent paranoia.

Regardless, it wouldbe more constructive to voice any valid concerns to their management than whine about it here.
I go in so rarely, the layout of this specific store was totally different..the clothing was off to the side, and the center of the store, inside the 'racetrack' was split between a large sailing section (which made sense, as it is buzzards bay!) , large electronics section, binocular section... it was freaking awesome display... now it is entirely clothing ... a tiny electronics section and decent fishing section, and tiny marine store section in the back..

i actually asked about the sudden focus on clothing, the clerk said something like that was the new focus or direction the store is heading in..and was not my imagination, which kinda inline with the OP of this topic.
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Old 02-02-2015, 19:46   #120
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
I've been in two WM stores in the last month in different states. Didn't see any big difference in merchandise or in sailing equipment available. No"boating boutique" or Gap" evidence in either.

I'm wondering if one guy posts some conjecture and it triggered an outbreak of SAD (sailing affected disorder equiv to seasonally affected disorder) coupled with some latent paranoia.

Regardless, it wouldbe more constructive to voice any valid concerns to their management than whine about it here.
If you listen to the conference call with the CEO, it will confirm what I outlined in the opening posting.

It is definitely their strategy to move towards lifestyle, including in what they described as their traditional stores. Their flagship stores are already converted.

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